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Amnesty backs Google shareholders

Pressure group applauds pressure

A Google shareholder has called for the search giant to clean up its act, a move that's been welcomed by Amnesty International.

An advisor to five public pension funds in New York has filed a shareholder proposal calling on Google to adopt a stronger anti-censorship stance. Google has been widely criticised for bowing to pressure from Chinese authorities to remove websites deemed "political" by the Chinese government.

The proposal calls on Google to resist attempts at censorship, tell people when it is censoring search results, and tell people what data it is retaining.

Google's board of directors has recommended that shareholders vote against the proposal at the company's AGM today.

Amnesty International UK campaigns director Tim Hancock said: "It's really important that companies are held to account for their actions overseas - especially when their activities are in such stark contrast with their principles.

"Google can't claim on the one hand that freedom of expression is central to its mission, and on the other provide a censored product in order to increase its earnings and prominence in the Chinese marketplace." ®

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