Internet Companies Pay Lip Service To Human Rights

from the actions-speak-louder-than-words dept

After all the controversy, and threats of Congressional action, over actions by companies like Yahoo and Google to appease foreign governments against what many consider basic human rights issues, various internet companies have agreed on a set of “guidelines” for how they deal with human rights issues. While it’s nice that they’re actually thinking about these issues, the guidelines on the whole are pretty weak and don’t bind the companies to do anything. Basically, it just says that the companies will consider the human rights issues in their decision making. If anything, this seems like an attempt to just keep the government from legislating on the issues, and it may not be very successful on that front. The real test will be in seeing how these companies actually act, rather than what sorts of guidelines they’ve signed.

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Companies: google, yahoo

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Comments on “Internet Companies Pay Lip Service To Human Rights”

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some old guy (user link) says:

They have two options in the end.

In the end, each of these internet companies has two options.

Pander to censorship and survive
– or –
Shun censorship and die a slow death

The real problem is that US government seems to think they should do the impossible, which is ignore censorship and die a painful death in china while simultaneously pandering to censorship in america.

Ulltimately, this is nothing more than a gambit to keep china off of our internet, and make them develop their own sites platforms and technologies. This is an incredibly stupid thing to do. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

If you fear that China will become smart enough to supplant us in world trade, then don’t rush the process along with hopes of stalling it.

Do not be fooled by the red herring. This has NOTHING to do with human rights. HAHA, like those in power in the USA give two shits about human rights. Funny.

Donald says:

It's not appeasment

Multinationals don’t “appease” governments, they follow the appropriate legislation to enable them to operate in that country.

Yahoo, Google et al following Chinese law while operating in China isn’t appeasement any more than following American law to operate in America is appeasement.

Different countries have different rules as to what is acceptable, what is permitted, and what earns you the attention of the law. In China things like Falun Gong are censored and in some European countries the swastika is banned.

Remember every country has a sovereign right to set their own laws. If another country disagrees with them there are diplomatic channels to go through – such as the UN. Unless you want other countries to legislate over what companies can do in your own territory don’t interfere with other countries.

hegemon13 says:

Glad to see sense

I’m glad to see that sense, rather than emotional response, has prevailed in the first 3 comments (not counting the blatant spam in comment 2).

If another country was demanding that their companies ignore US laws while doing business in the US, there would be an uproar. The fact is that while we do not agree with China, they are a massive market with a government that we recognize as legitimate. If we want to do business there, we have to follow that government’s laws. Sure, Google could opt to pull out of China…and leave a market with 3 times the population of the US.

Since when is it the job of our government to demand that corporations make subjective judgment calls on whether or not to follow the laws of the countries in which they do business? Not only that, given that our government now has the right to warrantlessly (is that a word?) demand information about us, what, exactly, is the difference? Just that our government claims that it won’t use the information to oppress? Well, having the right to demand civilian information without cause, warrant, or oversight is already a major form of oppression, so I don’t buy that argument.

Nana Titi says:


Good day,
I know you may be surprise to receive this letter from me since you do not know me personally. Hence the necessity of my introduction. I am Nana Titi, the first son of late Jimmy Titi who was killed by rebels of opposition party in my country Liberia because my late father was a political struggler, and die on the struggle. Before he died, he review to me and my nmother that he deposited a consignment box in a security company in Ghana for security reason. And that the box contains $15,000,000,00 USD ( fifteen million United States of America dollars) which all the documents are in my name as next of kin was handed over to me by my late father before he died.
When myself and my mother now came to Ghana to look for the security company. For claim, the security company manager told I and my mother that the box cannot be release to us.He as well made us to understand that, at the time my father was depositing the box he made an agreement with them that the box should not be release to any of his family members without a foreign beneficiary. That is why it is mandatory forme to contact you to assist us us claim the consignment box as my late father foreign beneficiary.
For your information the security company do not know what is inside the consignment box because my father told them at the time of depositing the box that it contains family presious items.The company did not know that its money that is inside the box.This is top secrect I am revealing to you now. Because if they know the company might decide to raise eyebrows on the funds, which is dangerous so keep it confidentail to yourself for the success of both of us in this transaction.
In your reply to me kindly include your telephone and fax numbers so that I will feed you with more information about this transaction and also send you all the documents covering this funds.
Please in the name of God keep this transaction top secrect; you know secrect go with success. Kindly get back tome soon.
Nana Titi

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