Major web companies, educators and a variety of human rights groups are banding together to protect privacy rights and freedom of expression on the internet.
The Centre for Democracy and Technology (CDT) is bringing together these interests to develop a set of principles that companies should adopt when doing business globally.
Companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo have been collaborating on developing common principles. At the same time, CDT and the group Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) have been facilitating discussion of the issues with technology leaders, investors and human rights groups. Now these groups, along with faculty of various academic institutions, will combine their efforts.
Internet companies doing business globally have encountered situations in which they censored web content or restrict access for certain people at the insistence of a government. Google, for example, was criticised last year for keeping users of its search in China from going to certain websites at the insistence of the Chinese government.
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