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This approach would, in effect, increase awareness of censorship by decreasing access to information. LIMIT DIRECT INTERACTION WITH FORCES OF REPRESSION.Under this option, Google would establish clear procedures for engaging with law enforcement, for example, for what to do if asked by authorities to provide identifying information or block access to specific information.SUPPORT TECHNOLOGIES THAT DEFEAT CENSORSHIP AND SURVEILLANCE AND ORGANIZATIONS THAT OPPOSE CENSORSHIP AND SURVEILLANCE.Under this option, Google would provide financial and technical resources to support human rights and other organizations opposing Chinese censorship and the development of anti-censorship technology. For example, Google could support organizations such as the OpenNet Initiative, Human Rights in China, the Open Society Institute, and Radio Free Asia. It could also support the development of anonymizer, encryption, and proxy server technologies. A related option would be to join with human rights organizations to lobby for the releaseof dissidents imprisoned for exercising their freedom of expression on the Internet.An alternative would be to offer anonymizing or encryption technology or software directly to Google users in China. The converse of this option would be not to provide products or services, such as filteringsoftware, to Chinese government authorities. PARTNER WITH OTHER COMPANIES TO DEVELOP INDUSTRY CODES OF CONDUCTFOR OPERATIONS IN REPRESSIVE COUNTRIES.This option would require Google to partner with other firms in the information and communications technology industry to develop a common industry code of conduct for doing business in repressive countries. Such a code might cover such topics as commitment to open access to information, free speech, and protection of privacy and security.Case 2-7
Case 2: Google in ChinaXiao Qiang, Director of the China Internet Project at the University of California, Berkeley, argued in testimony before Congress that such codes could act not only as a guide to action “but also as a buffer for companies operating in a political environment where freedom of expression is restricted.”1TEACHING TIP: CODE OF CONDUCTStudents may be asked, as a homework assignment—individually or in groups—to draft such a code of conduct.PARTNER WITH OTHER COMPANIES TO LOBBY FOR THE U.S. AND OTHER GOVERNMENTS IN SUPPORT OF APPROPRIATE LEGISLATION.For example, in January 2007, Rep. Chris Smith (Republican-New Jersey) reintroduced legislation, the Global Online Freedom Act, which aimed “to promote free expression and a free flow of information on the Internet by preventing U.S. companies from aiding regimes who restrict access to the Internet.” The bill would make it illegal for U.S. firms to turn over personal information about users to a government in order to suppress dissent. (An earlier version of the bill, introduced by Rep. Smith in 2006, never got to the floor for a vote.)