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March 02, 2010

On the Hill: U.S. Tech Companies Come Under Fire for Internet Censorship
By Erin Harrison
Senior Editor

Senate leaders took U.S. technology companies to task on Tuesday for succumbing to pressure by overseas governments to censor or block Internet sites in countries like Iran or China, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Companies, however, maintain that the laws of the countries in which they operate sometimes require censorship or Web site restrictions, but members of the Senate said that Internet companies should take steps to protect human rights.
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D., Ill.), who chairs a Senate Judiciary Committee panel, initiated the subject at a hearing on Capitol Hill and will apparently introduce legislation “that would require Internet companies to take reasonable steps to protect human rights or face civil or criminal liability,” according to the WSJ.
Recently, TMCnet reported the high-profile Internet attacks on Google (News - Alert) and dozens of other American corporations in China were traced to a couple of high-profile schools.
Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.), said the U.S. “must address these serious challenges to freedom of expression head-on,” the Journal said.

Erin Harrison is a senior editor with TMCnet, primarily covering telecom expense management, politics and technology and Web 2.0. She serves as senior editor for TMC's print publications, including "Internet Telephony (News - Alert)", "Customer Interaction Solutions", "Unified Communications" and "NGN" magazines. Erin also oversees production of TMCnet's weekly iPhone e-Newsletter. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Erin Harrison


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