Feeds

Institutional investors push Google on China

Vote to be held at AGM

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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.®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
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
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
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
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
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
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.
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.
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.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.