China the Internet and Corporate Responsibility

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Information about China the Internet and Corporate Responsibility

Published on June 23, 2008

Author: rmackinnon

Source: slideshare.net

China, the Internet, and Corporate Responsibility Some observations and questions

Questions from CIRC 2005 The Internet is changing China… … but how is China changing the Internet? Many people discuss the former, far fewer explore the latter…

The Internet is changing China…

… but how is China changing the Internet?

Many people discuss the former, far fewer explore the latter…

Questions: Role of businesses What is the role of Internet and telecoms companies - both foreign and Chinese - in helping to shape China’s standards, practices, and regulatory norms? Do they have any room to make choices about what they will and won’t do, how they do it, and how far they will go? To what extent will the “accepted way of doing business” and “standard regulatory norms” in China eventually impact the global internet?

What is the role of Internet and telecoms companies - both foreign and Chinese - in helping to shape China’s standards, practices, and regulatory norms?

Do they have any room to make choices about what they will and won’t do, how they do it, and how far they will go?

To what extent will the “accepted way of doing business” and “standard regulatory norms” in China eventually impact the global internet?

A global situation Government Company User

Foreign businessperson in China recently wrote: “ Ultimately, to succeed in China, businesses must assume the goals of the Communist Party as their own.” --- “Mr. X”, a “foreign media entrepreneur based in China” Far Eastern Economic Review , May 2008 http://www.feer.com/essays/2008/may/chinas-holistic-censorship-regime

“ Ultimately, to succeed in China, businesses must assume the goals of the Communist Party as their own.”

--- “Mr. X”, a “foreign media entrepreneur based in China”

Far Eastern Economic Review , May 2008

http://www.feer.com/essays/2008/may/chinas-holistic-censorship-regime

Shi Tao: Jailed 10 years with Yahoo!’s help.

Aiding Big Brother Yahoo: aided in jailing of dissidents, heavily censors Chinese-language search Google: offers censored Chinese search, Google.cn MSN censored Chinese bloggers - but has modified policy in reaction to criticism; continues to offer censored search Cisco sells surveillance tech to Chinese police Skype filters text chat via Chinese partner Etc.

Yahoo: aided in jailing of dissidents, heavily censors Chinese-language search

Google: offers censored Chinese search, Google.cn

MSN censored Chinese bloggers - but has modified policy in reaction to criticism; continues to offer censored search

Cisco sells surveillance tech to Chinese police

Skype filters text chat via Chinese partner

Etc.

Foreign companies say: “ We have no choice… we have to abide by the same rules that apply to Chinese companies, or we can’t do business here.” Question: Is it really true that they have absolutely no choice whatsoever? Findings of Human Rights Watch (2006); U. of Toronto’s Nart Villeneuve (draft paper 2008): All search engines in China are censoring to very different degrees, according to very different methods.

“ We have no choice… we have to abide by the same rules that apply to Chinese companies, or we can’t do business here.”

Question: Is it really true that they have absolutely no choice whatsoever?

Findings of Human Rights Watch (2006); U. of Toronto’s Nart Villeneuve (draft paper 2008): All search engines in China are censoring to very different degrees, according to very different methods.

HKU Blog censorship testing: Dalai Lama letter to the world’s Chinese people

Tianya: censored (10 out of 17 blog hosting services censored the Dalai Lama letter)

Xinhuanet article

15 blog-hosting services didn’t censor Xinhua at all…BUT…

Mop.com censors Xinhua

Blogbus takes different approach…

Blog censorship testing Initial observations: Highly inconsistent across topics, timeframes, etc. Each service uses different methods Each service appears to use different criteria QUESTION: does this mean that there is room for some industry choice and “best practice” even in China’s censorship system?

Initial observations:

Highly inconsistent across topics, timeframes, etc.

Each service uses different methods

Each service appears to use different criteria

QUESTION: does this mean that there is room for some industry choice and “best practice” even in China’s censorship system?

Blogger sued his Chinese blog host for censorship Consumer rights! Breach of contract!

Setting global standards: race to the bottom? Government Company User

It’s an issue in democracies too (U.S. govt. “secret surveillance,” etc.) User

Global industry code of conduct? Must be truly global. Focus on transparency and accountability. Support user’s ability to make informed decisions about how and when to use a service

Must be truly global.

Focus on transparency and accountability.

Support user’s ability to make informed decisions about how and when to use a service

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