Feeds

Institutional investors push Google on China

Vote to be held at AGM

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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 next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.