Lawmaker Takes Aim At Internet Companies' China Policies
Feb 17, 2006, 6:00 AM
Republican Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey introduced legislation Thursday that would prohibit Google, Yahoo, MSN and other companies from censoring search results or disclosing users' identities without approval by the Department of Justice. Earlier this week, the companies' China policies met with a hostile reception in Congress. ''I simply do not understand how your corporate executives sleep at night," California Democrat Tom Lantos told the companies. Microsoft recently removed a Chinese journalist's blog on MSN Spaces, and last month, Google launched a China search engine that censors Web sites seen as critical of the government. Additionally, the Paris-based group Reporters Without Borders charged that Yahoo revealed the identity of e-mail user Shi Tao to the authorities; last year, the Chinese journalist was sentenced to 10 years in prison for revealing state secrets, based on using a personal Yahoo e-mail account to forward an e-mail his newspaper had received from the Chinese government to a U.S. human rights group.