Google Not Interested In Censorship Standards
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In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Google's board of directors recommended shareholders vote against a proposal by New York City's Comptroller that would require the company to follow a set of standards "to help protect freedom of access to the Internet."
The Comptroller's office is custodian and trustee for 486,617 Google shares held in funds for city employees, such as teachers, police and firefighters.
Citing freedom of speech and freedom of the press as "fundamental human rights," the Comptroller's office called for Google to refrain from engaging in proactive censorship, complying with censorship demands unless bound to through legal procedures or hosting user data in countries where political speech can be a crime.
The proposal also calls for Google to tell users when it is filtering or censoring for a government and keep a public record of instances with the company complies with censorship laws. The proposal requests that Google keep user informed as to how the company stores its data.
"Political censorship of the Internet degrades the quality of that service and ultimately threatens the integrity and viability of the industry itself, both in the United States and abroad," reads the proposal.
Neither Google nor the comptroller's office responded to a request for comment. The vote will be held at Google's annual stockholders meeting on May 10.