Google, Microsoft, Yahoo Seek Help With China

Posted by spy on February 2 2006, 5:21 PM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.

Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc. on Wednesday asked the U.S government for help in dealing with state censorship in China and other countries, which have forced the search engines to block information on their sites. In letters to a Congressional Human Rights Caucus investigating Chinese censorship, the companies urged the U.S. government to take up the issue during talks with Beijing. "While we will actively work to encourage governments around the world to embrace policies on Internet content that foster the freer exchange of ideas and promote maximum access to information, we also recognize that, acting alone, our leverage and ability to influence government policies in various countries is severely limited," Yahoo and Microsoft said in a joint letter. Google made a similar request in a separate letter sent by Andrew McLaughlin, senior policy counsel for Google. McLaughlin urged the U.S. government "to treat censorship as a barrier to trade." The companies also said they were discussing their dealings in China with U.S. officials. Restricting access to information has become a part of doing business in China for search engines. Microsoft MSN and Google filter search results to abide by Chinese laws and regulations. Yahoo has sidestepped the issue by partnering with Chinese marketplace Alibaba.com, which runs the portal's operations in China.Full Story At Source