Google Leaving China: a Case for Partnerships in Business and Human Rights
In reaction to yesterday’s news about Google pulling out of China, Human Rights First CEO and President Elisa Massimino responded:
Google’s decision to leave China underscores what’s at stake for all communications companies. As Secretary of State Clinton noted, there is one Internet, one set of information to which the entire world should have equal access. China’s policy takes direct aim at that vision and, if allowed to stand, threatens to limit the operations of all Internet and technology companies and the rights of their users to free speech and free association.
Google went head to head with China and lost. Google’s experience demonstrates
that no one company can go it alone. Companies and NGOs need to work together to
expand the space for Internet freedom and limit the scope of repressive policies
of China and governments following its lead.
Google is one of many companies participating in the Global Network Initiative to protect freedom of expression and privacy rights in the Internet and communications sector. Human Rights First has played a leading role in this and other multi-stakeholder initiatives that aim to engage business on human rights issues.