Google and Other Internet Giants to Create a Code of Conduct


Technology companies Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and Vodafone are in talks with human rights groups to draw up an Internet code of conduct to protect users' free speech and privacy.

The parties say they aim to produce a code by the end of the year that would counter such trends as the increased jailing of Internet journalists, monitoring of legitimate online activity and censorship.

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PR Fluff

I don't believe Google and Yahoo will honestly hold themselves to such a code, or the code developed will be so full of loopholes as to be worthless.

Let's face it, both of those search engines are lusting after the China search market so much that they will rationalize any sort of (mis)behavior to gain market share. This is just a sop because they are feeling the heat.

You may be right, Brad. On

You may be right, Brad.

On the other hand (and this is purely speculation), as it is now, countries can employ a "divide and conquer" strategy against search engines: if one doesn't agree to whatever is asked, then it's out and its competitors are still in. So it's possible that a common agreement, while netting good public relations, would also give them some sort of group solidarity to combat ... whatever needs to be combatted.

At least, that's a hopeful view of it.

Sincere Effort

I believe this is a sincere effort on behalf of the search engines. Their motivation may be financial (the goal of every business is to make money) but in order to attract users they must have the public trust.

Yahoo was manhandled in the press for helping the chinese jail a journlist. This greatly hurt their credibility & userbase, and this is not something any search engine wants to go through again.

Does this include supporting clickfraud?

Internet journalists? phooey. If they wanted to conduct themselves with conduct becoming a non-evil corporation, they'd start with not turning blind eyes to so much click fraud that everyone knows takes place. (not that i'm trying to ruffle feathers here..:P).

If they were sincere about

If they were sincere about this and not just using it as a ridiculous PR stunt, they'd be putting the money toward lobbyists in Washington and other countries. Our freedoms online are determined by our governments, not by some useless set of rules some morons concoct in a room.

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