Undermining freedom of expression in China

Undermining freedom of expression in China I’ve been reading Amnesty’s new report on the internet and freedom of expression in China. The specific focus is the complicity of Yahoo!, Google and Microsoft in human rights abuses in China by facilitating and sanctioning government censorship.

The full report is available from the Amnesty UK website (you have to scroll down a bit to find a link to the PDF). It’s worth reading if you’re interested in business ethics and this whole Web 2.0 thing.

  • Google self-censor their Chinese search engine, but at least inform users that censorship has occurred.
  • Microsoft censor MSN Spaces in China by restricting the terms that users can use in their account names, space names or photo captions. A Chinese pro-democracy blog was also shut down by Microsoft in December 2005 – removing it not only from the web in China, but from the web as a whole.
  • Yahoo! are the company most strongly criticised in the report. Yahoo!’s disclosure of private account information to the Chinese authorities has led to the convictions of two journalists. Both are considered prisoners of conscience.
    Update: make that three people in jail.