FC: Amnesty Int'l fingers MS, Sun, Cisco as Chinese censors

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Wed Nov 27 2002 - 10:00:54 PST

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    [Somehow, I don't recall Amnesty International slamming Microsoft, Sun, 
    Nortel, and so forth for selling software to the Feds that can be used for 
    Carnivore deployment. And did Amnesty complain about all those businesses 
    selling legal pads, calculators, and maps to the FBI that were used in the 
    brutal killing of innocents at Waco? Of course not. In those cases, at 
    least, Amnesty appears to have realized that blame for wrongdoing should 
    rest on the shoulders of the government.
    I don't mean to say that corporations are never complicit (certainly there 
    have been allegations raised about IBM in World War II), but it seems that 
    that should be a pretty high threshold to meet, and that doesn't seem to be 
    the case here. Amnesty offers no proof beyond hand-waving allegations 
    likely born of an anti-corporate bias. If China orders a few thousand 
    copies of Windows, how is Microsoft to know where they'll be used? It 
    can't, of course, and to suggest otherwise is silly. Amnesty should know 
    better, and focus its otherwise good work on the real culprits: The Chinese 
    government. --Declan]
    Foreign companies, including Websense and Sun Microsystems, Cisco Systems, 
    Nortel Networks, Microsoft,(27) have reportedly provided important 
    technology which helps the Chinese authorities censor the Internet. Nortel 
    Networks(28) along with some other international firms are reported to be 
    providing China with the technology which will help it shift from filtering 
    content at the international gateway level to filtering content of 
    individual computers, in homes, Internet cafes, universities and businesses.
    The Universal Declaration of Human Rights calls on "every individual and 
    every organ of society" to play its part in securing human rights for all. 
    Amnesty International believes that multinational companies operating in 
    China have a responsibility to contribute to the promotion and protection 
    of fundamental human rights.
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