Thursday, April 13, 2006

Chinese internet association calls for censorship of the web

The Internet Society of China asked its 2,600 member companies to censor Chinese web sites, the New York Times reported today.

''We should run our business in a civilized way,'' said the statement issued Wednesday and reported by the government's Xinhua News Agency. ''We should not produce, disseminate and spread information that harms state security, social stability and information that violates laws and regulations and social morality.''

The group called for its 2,600 member companies to supervise content, delete ''unhealthy'' information and oppose acts that undermine ''Internet civilization,'' Xinhua said.

Meanwhile, Google CEO Eric Schmidt, in Beijing this week to launch its Chinese language web portal, defended the company's agreement to censor its search engine for the Chinese market.

"I think it's arrogant for us to walk into a country where we are just beginning to operate and tell that country how to operate," Schmidt said, according to the Associated Press.

What is corporate complicity and how can companies avoid it? See Amnesty International Secretary General Irene Khan's recent remarks.

For more information about internet censorship in China, see Amnesty USA's web site and the Committee to Protect Journalists.

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