Amnesty International: Microsoft supports The Great Firewall

In a new report, human rights group Amnesty International blames Microsoft and other tech companies for aiding and abetting the Chinese government when it comes to stifling freedom on the Internet. It’s the first time I’ve heard Microsoft’s name in this context, most previous reports focusing instead on Cisco.

Human rights group Amnesty International has attacked Microsoft and other computer giants for selling technology which allows Chinese authorities to control and monitor the internet, leading to a huge rise in the number of people detained for using the web.

While the Chinese authorities allow access to the web, the regime continues to censor sites that promote dissident views.

According to today’s report from Amnesty, 54 people are now detained or imprisoned in China for internet-related activities, a rise of 60% in just over a year.

The report hits out at companies such as Microsoft, the US software giant whose founder Bill Gates learned yesterday that he would receive an honorary knighthood for “services to enterprise”, for facilitating the monitoring and control of websites.

The report also singles out Cisco, Nortel Networks, Websense and Sun Microsystems, and chastises them for considering profits over the human rights implications of their censorship technology.

The Discussion: 3 Comments

Interesting, like you most of the reports I have read before focused on Cisco and a little bit on Sun. I wonder if Microsoft will follow the same technique that Cisco has been using; ignore the story so it gets buried.

If you happen to see a copy of the full report online please post a link. i would like to see exactly how they are linking the censorship and arrests to Microsoft.

January 28, 2004 @ 10:03 pm | Comment

If I was Microsoft I’d ignore this type of thing myself as well. If people haven’t noticed mega-corperations like Microsoft and Cisco, don’t get to where they are through humanitarian business practices.

They are concerned about their bottom line and huge contracts from China are too big to resist.

January 29, 2004 @ 12:21 am | Comment

Here’s the press release and the full report.

January 29, 2004 @ 2:36 am | Comment

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.