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Microsoft, Google and Yahoo sign code of ethics

by on28 October 2008


Online freedom of speech around the world

titans including Google, Yahoo and Microsoft have signed an Internet industry code of ethics intended to safeguard online freedom of speech around the world.

The rules of conduct have been drawn up by the U.S.-based Center for Democracy & Technology, which has taken two years to get the industry names to sign up. The big idea is to provide a voluntary framework to help protect people who express opinions online in countries such as China.

One of the big drivers for the code of practice was Yahoo, who wanted to promote a code of behavior for global technology and communication companies operating in "challenging markets." Yahoo chief executive Jerry Yang said internet companies were getting into more grey areas in terms of freedom of expression versus censorship, legal versus illegal and border versus non-border.”
Yahoo got into deep doo doo when it  helped Chinese police identify cyber dissidents whose supposed crime was expressing their views online.

Google has also been slammed for complying with the Chinese government's demands to filter Internet searches in that country to eliminate query results regarding topics such as democracy or Tiananmen Square.
Last modified on 29 October 2008
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