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March 09, 2006

Is Code of conduct for Google and Yahoo in Authoritarian Regime Countries a Must?

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has written an open letter to members of Congress proposing A Code of Conduct for Internet Companies in Authoritarian Regimes. The proposal wouldn't ban doing business in authoritarian regimes and probably wouldn't even ban the controversial practices by Yahoo and Google now making news. But it would ask companies to retain as little identifiable data on users as possible; to notify users when removing or hiding web sites; when forced to suppress information within a country, to make the same information available elsewhere; to document government censorship requests and the laws, if any, that require compliance; to keep these records even if they cannot be made public until after a regime change; to avoid "actively and knowingly providing services that facilitate censorship or repression"; and to offer users encryption and circumvention technologies. This is a very good start.

Source: Peter Suber. Code of conduct for ... Google and Yahoo in China. OA News Blog (15 February 2006) [FullText]

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