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Leading Internet companies agree to guidelines on free speech, human rights abroad
NEW YORK (AP) -- Leading Internet companies, long criticized by human-rights groups for their business dealings in China, agreed Tuesday to new guidelines that seek to limit what data they should share with authorities worldwide and when they should do so.
The guidelines call for Google Inc., Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp. to try to reduce the scope of government requests that appear to conflict with free speech and other human rights principles. They also require participating companies to seek requests in writing, along with the names and titles of the authorizing officer.
But ultimately, the documents are less about "what happens when you get a knock on the door than what are you doing before then," said Leslie Harris, chief executive of the Center for Democracy and Technology, one of the main groups behind the guidelines.