Amnesty International joins the group of entities that throughout the world have criticized the stance of American Internet companies cooperating with the Chinese government. The targets of criticism are Yahoo, Microsoft and Google, which the organization accuses of disrespecting human rights by complying with Chinese policies that limit freedom of expression on the Internet.
AI asks companies to do lobby and collaborate in efforts to try to release citizens detained, tried and convicted by Chinese justice for the spread online content that is considered prohibited. Companies are also asked to publicly show their opposition to the Chinese government’s requests that violate human rights and reveal details of their agreements with the Chinese authorities.
The declaration further requests that companies use all legal mechanisms at their disposal before complying with government requests that may affect human rights, such as providing information on email.
«The Internet must promote freedom of expression, not restrict it. We must fight against the creation of two Internetes, one to express and one to repress,» argues Larry Cox, executive director of AI in the United States. The same official considers that the posture of the Internet companies in question «has been violating their corporate values and policies».
Google and Yahoo have already responded by saying that their presence in the country is an asset to the public. Google adds that it has been looking to offer only services where it knows it can guarantee users’ privacy.
The European Parliament also recently expressed its disagreement with the cooperation of several multinationals with oppressive regimes such as China, citing the names of several companies and asking European governments and consumers to express their disagreement with this type of stance.
China is a desirable market for Western companies with 123 million users online.
2006-07-07 – European Parliament accuses multinationals of collaboration with regimes that repress access to ICT