View Full Version : Cisco, Microsoft, Nortel, Websense And Sun Microsystems Censoring China's Internet

07-19-2006, 10:25 PM
Censorship in China


(Gold9472: And it happens here (http://www.yourbbsucks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5716) as well.)


As China's burgeoning economy grows and with its admission in December 2001 to the World Trade Organization (WTO), foreign ownership, investment and involvement of foreign companies in China's information and telecommunications industries has soared. This growth is not without complications. In China, Amnesty International is concerned that in their pursuit of new and lucrative markets, foreign corporations may be directly or indirectly contributing to human rights violations or at the very least failing to give adequate consideration to the human rights implications of their investments. Of particular concern are abuses of the right to freedom of expression and information. More recently concerns tied to privacy issues have also arisen.

Amnesty International first reported on the issue of freedom of expression and information in November 2002. In the report State control of the Internet in China, Amnesty cited several foreign companies - Cisco Systems, Microsoft, Nortel Networks, Websense and Sun Microsystems - which had reportedly provided technology used to censor and control the use of the Internet in China. Following the publication of the report, several companies dismissed allegations that their company's actions might be contributing to human rights violations in China. Cisco Systems denied that the company tailors its products for the Chinese market, saying that "[I]f the government of China wants to monitor the Internet, that's their business. We are basically politically neutral." Microsoft said it "focused on delivering the best technology to people throughout the world", but that it "cannot control the way it may ultimately be used."

Amnesty International considers such responses to be inadequate, particularly in view of recent measures taken at the international level to hold companies more accountable for the human rights implications of their investments, such as the UN^Norms^for^Business on Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Regard to Human Rights, adopted by the UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in 2003.

In January 2004 Amnesty released an updated report, Controls tighten as Internet activism grows, which indicated that there was a dramatic rise in the number of people detained or sentenced for Internet-related offences, an increase of 60 per cent in 2003 as compared to the previous year's figures. In addition, an unknown number of people remained in detention for disseminating information about the spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) over the Internet. Nearly all of the individuals cited in the 2004 report are still considered to be prisoners of conscience. Many have been denied due process and some have been tortured or ill-treated in custody.