Note: This post will stay at the top on Sunday, January 8, because of the importance of the topic.
Here’s the wall (images can be shrunk if, as unfortunately expected, there will be future inductees):
Superior renderings are welcome from someone who actually knows what they’re doing, and full credit will be given (CPA does not stand for “Competent Pictorial Artist”). If someone comes up with a better wall, it will replace the small version of it that you see in the right frame.
The story starts below.
Reporters Without Borders (RWB) names names on a page that should be bookmarked or saved not only to have RWB’s record of the offenses against freedom and free expression committed by the companies identified below, but for RWB’s proposed code of conduct for Internet companies not included here (HT – who else? – RConversation; bolds are mine).
Courtesy of the heavy lifting done by RWB, here is the first group of companies who have now officially been inducted into BizzyBlog’s Internet Wall of Shame (revised from “Chinese Wall of Shame” I proposed in a previous post, because other countries are engaging in repressive practices with the active assistance of US technology companies):
- Since 2002, Yahoo! has agreed to censor the results of the Chinese version of its search engine in accordance with a blacklist provide by the Chinese government. Reporters Without Borders also recently proved that Yahoo! helped the Chinese police identify and then convict a journalist who was criticising human rights abuses in China. The e-mail servers of Yahoo!â€™s Chinese division are located inside China.
- Microsoft censors the Chinese version of its MSN Spaces blog tool. You cannot enter search strings such as â€œdemocracyâ€ or â€œhuman rights in Chinaâ€ or â€œcapitalismâ€ as they are automatically rejected by the system. Microsoft also closed down a Chinese journalistâ€™s blog following pressure from the government in Beijing. This blog was hosted on servers located in the United States.
- All sources of news and information that are censored in China have been withdrawn by Google from the Chinese version of its news search engine, Google News.
- Secure Computing has sold Tunisia technology that allows it to censor independent news and information websites such as the Reporters Without Borders one.
- Fortinet has sold the same kind of software to Burma.
- Cisco Systems has marketed equipment specifically designed to make it easier for the Chinese police to carry out surveillance of electronic communications. Cisco is also suspected of giving Chinese engineers training in how to use its products to censor the Internet.
We believe these practices violate the right to freedom of expression as defined in article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was proclaimed by the United Nations when it was founded and which is supposed to apply to everyone, including business corporations. Furthermore, such ethical failings on the part of American companies damage the image of the Unites States abroad.