Feeds

Institutional investors push Google on China

Vote to be held at AGM

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

The man who advises five New York public pension funds is calling on Google to stop caving in to Chinese censorship demands.

New York City Comptroller William C Thompson Jnr has submitted a shareholder proposal to be voted on at Google's Annual General Meeting on 10 May. Traditionally very few, if any, shareholders vote at these events which approve management decisions like how much to pay the board and whether the accountants should stay on.

Thompson makes six proposals - that Google should not store user information in countries which consider political speech a crime, that Google should not engage in censorship, that it legally resist demands for censorship and that it will warn users when it does accept legal censorship demands.

Fifth on list is a proposal that Google tell users what its data retention policies are. The sixth proposals asks that when it does accept legal censorship demands it makes that information public.

Institutional investors, especially pension funds, rarely make use of their power in public - although theoretically democratic few companies have trouble getting resolutions passed, or over-ruled, at general meetings.

The proposal will need a majority of shareholders to pass but regardless of the result it may wake Google up to the disquiet its Chinese activities are raising.

The search engine has won few friends for kowtowing to Chinese authorities. Although Google refused to hand over search logs to the US government, citing privacy concerns, it did co-operate with Chinese censors. Google offers a much reduced internet index to people in China and removes results on request.

New York City Comptroller William C Thompson Jnr. waged a previous campaign to stop Halliburton dealing with Iraq.

He gave evidence to the US Senate Trade committee discussing how to pressure companies to stop trading with nations that sponsor terrorism.

The proposal is included in Google's proxy statement - it's about half way down on page 30.

In other news Google announced changes to its personal home page - which has been rebranded as iGoogle. The page can be changed using "gadgets" - making it easier to create a YouTube channel, make lists or include a mini-blog on the page. The service is now available in 15 new languages.®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.