Vendors seek Web code of conduct

Web companies, educators and human rights groups are collaborating to develop principles that protect freedom of expression and privacy on the World Wide Web

Major Web companies, educators and a variety of human rights groups are banding together to protect privacy rights and freedom of expression on the Internet.

The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) is bringing together these interests to develop a set of principles that companies should adopt when doing business globally.

Companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo have been collaborating on developing common principles. At the same time, CDT and the group Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) have been facilitating discussion of the issues with technology leaders, investors and human rights groups. Now these groups, along with faculty of various academic institutions, will combine their efforts.

U.S. companies doing business globally have encountered situations in which they censored Web content or restrict access for certain people at the insistence of a government. Google, for example, was criticized last year for keeping users of its search in China from going to certain Web sites. It did this at the insistence of the Chinese government.

"Companies doing business around the world look to some principles and guideposts that inform their actions globally," said Aron Cramer, chief executive officer of BSR, which is based in San Francisco.

Beyond that, the strong support for these principles from the groups establishing them may give companies more "leverage," Cramer said, to influence governments to abide by them as well.

The group seeks to develop the principles and seek to implement them by holding the groups who sign the set of principles accountable to its provisions.

Among the other entities joining together to develop the principles are the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Human Rights Watch, University of California, Berkeley School of Law, Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School and the International Business Leaders Forum.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert Mullins

IDG News Service
Show Comments


Brother MFC-L3745CDW Colour Laser Multifunction

Learn more >




Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Shining a light on creativity

MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?