Amnesty Launches Campaign To Pressure Companies To Respect Internet Freedom

A major human rights organization based in London has launched a worldwide campaign to compel governments and technology companies to respect Internet freedom. Amnesty International wants major technology companies, including Sun Microsystems, Nortel Networks, Cisco Systems, Microsoft, Google and Yahoo!, to stop collaborating with governments in efforts to limit the free flow of information online. Search engines have publicly acknowledged they edit results to comply with local laws. Companies also claim that it is better to provide censored content than no information at all because this data may ultimately contribute to economic development and political change. They also maintain that content in these countries will be censored regardless of their input. Amnesty claims governments worldwide are using information provided by technology companies to put in prison individuals who use the Internet to communicate their views. It also claims governments are relying on the technical expertise of foreign companies to deny citizens access to information. In these countries, websites are banned and blogs are deleted; foreign news are blocked; sensitive search results are filtered; Internet cafes are shut down; and chat rooms are policed. Amnesty has already delivered worldwide pledges against Internet repression to the United Nations, but the campaign continues.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

What is cyber repression?
How do companies get involved in this practice?
What should companies do?

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