US House of Representatives hits out at Cisco, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo!

By Derek Sooman on February 16, 2006, 9:07 PM
The US House of Representatives Committee on International Relations has attacked Cisco, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! over their relationship with the Chinese government.

Google and Yahoo! have recently attracted much negative publicity - the former for agreeing to censor results in its Chinese search engine, the latter for supplying details to the authorities on two "dissidents" - Li Zhi and Shi Tao - who were subsequently jailed.
Democrat Tom Lantos called the companysí activities in China an abhorrent disgrace, asking how on Earth the companysí corporate leadership sleeps at night. Yahoo! Senior Vice President Michael Callahan said that his company had made its views clear to the Chinese government. Google Vice President Elliot Schrage said that the requirements of doing business in China include self-censorship. Microsoft lobbyist Jack Krumholtz claimed that that company was merely complying with legally binding orders.

Lantos countered: "Well, IBM complied with legal orders when they cooperated with Nazi Germany. Those were legal orders under the Nazi German system... Do you think that IBM during that period had something to be ashamed of?"

User Comments: 7

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exscind said:
Not sure why the heck the House is attacking e-companies like Google and Yahoo. American corporations have long had facilities and factories placed in China due to cheaper labor and cheaper land. And the government waits until now to flame someone? I'm not particularly excusing these corporations, but it hardly seems appropriate for the U.S. House of Representatives to be the one to condemn others for something countless companies are doing in America, many I'm sure even the members of the House have affiliations with.
mirob said:
Google is not your friend. They will tell on you. The will put you in jail just for typing the wrong words, and even take your files and look at them if you dumb enought to use Google desktop. Some things are just wrong, and Google is doing them.
buttus said:
The US should look at itself and it's own censorship laws let alone domestic policies such as spying on it's own citizens BEFORE they start pointing fingers at the Chinese...a county and cuture that has been around far longer then the US.
PanicX said:
e People's Republic of China[/url] is actually quite a bit younger than the US government. The absurdity I see here is blasting these corporations for doing business with a country that the US has no [url=]embargo[/url] with. Do you assume you can do business in another country and not follow their laws? Until there's a legal order to boycott the nation, there's no grounds to accuse and judge.
Nic said:
I don't agree with what Google is doing, it's a disgrace and sends out a bad message to other corporations that it is alright to do the same. Google should simply refuse to censor it's search results, and it certainly shouldn't have supplied details on the two Chinese dissidents. Supplying details on criminal activity is fine, but not on people that simply express views that the Chinese government doesn't like.
canadian said:
If google did not censor the results, then the chinese government would have banned google. The google offices decided that some search, is better than no search at all.
gimbal said:
[b]Originally posted by exscind:[/b][quote]Not sure why the heck the House is attacking e-companies like Google and Yahoo. [/quote]You ask the question, but then proceed to comment, apparently without knowing the answer.The companies whose representatives were invited were Yahoo, Google, Cisco, and Microsoft. The issue, essentially: Those companies' roles in assisting the Chinese government in maintaining a cultural whitewash on the Chinese population. The meeting is mentioned in [url=]F
ontline's [i]The Tank Man[/i][/url], as is the broader issue being addressed by the Congress -- addressed, if but rhetorically. There's not much they can do, to curb an "at all jurisprudentially excusable costs" approach to the corproate "bottom line".
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