Feeds

'Disgust' as Microsoft censors Chinese blogs

Press freedom outfit speaks out

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) - the press freedom outfit - is "disgusted" that Microsoft is censoring its MSN blog service in China.

The software giant has bowed to Beijing's political censors banning the use of the words "freedom" and "democracy" on some areas of its Chinese internet portal, along with a host of other politically sensitive words such as "Taiwan independence" and "demonstration".

The portal is operated by Shanghai MSN Network Communications Technology, a joint venture between Microsoft and Shanghai-government owned Shanghai Alliance Investment (Sail). Microsoft holds 50 per cent of the business.

In a statement RSF said: "The lack of ethics on the part of [Microsoft] is extremely worrying. Their management frequently justifies collaboration with Chinese censorship by saying that all they are doing is obeying local legislation.

"Does that mean that if the authorities asked Microsoft to provide information about Chinese cyberdissidents using its services that it would agree to do so, on the basis that it is 'legal'?

"We believe that this argument does not hold water and that these multinationals must respect certain basic ethical principles, in whatever country they are operating," it said.

A spokeswoman for Microsoft told The Register: "MSN abides by the laws, regulations and norms of each country in which it operates. The content posted on member spaces is the responsibility of individuals who are required to abide by MSN's Code of Conduct." ®

Related stories

Microsoft deletes 'freedom' and 'democracy' in China
MPs accuse BT of 'exploiting low wages in China'
Campaigners quiz Google on China play

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.