US internet companies criticized for China censorship

[JURIST] Several members of the US House of Representatives Wednesday sharply criticized US internet companies for complying with the Chinese government's censorship requests at a Human Rights subcommittee hearing [agenda]. The hearing was called [JURIST report] after Microsoft [corporate website], Yahoo! [corporate website; press release], Cisco [corporate website] and Google [corporate website] admitted that they have been voluntarily withholding from internet users in China certain political and religious content that the Chinese government - which continues to broaden the scope of its censorship laws [AP report] - views as harmful.

Rep. Chris Smith [official website] condemned "enabling dictatorship" for the "sake of profits." A Yahoo! spokesperson echoed [prepared testimony, PDF] a statement issued by the company [JURIST report] on Monday in which it said it was "deeply concerned by efforts of governments to restrict and control open access to information and communication." A representative of Google defended the companies' actions [testimony, PDF] as "a meaningful, though imperfect, contribution to the overall expansion of access to information in China." AP has more.



 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.