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Google, Others Decline to Answer China Questions

After refusing a federal summons to provide the U.S. government with data that might help its case to protect children from pornography, Google has now declined to appear before a Congressional Human Rights Caucus tomorrow to answer questions about its business in China, where it recently agreed to aid the Chinese government in censoring those search results deemed "subversive." The briefing aims to gauge the pressures China is putting on U.S. companies like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft that have businesses there. Microsoft Corp. and Cisco Systems have also declined to speak at the briefing; Yahoo has yet to respond. These companies, all of which have agreed to bow to Beijing's requests, are likely to receive a hostile reception at Wednesday's meeting, which will be attended by human rights groups as well as several members of Congress. Internet companies operating in China have systematically said there is nothing they can do but bow to the wishes of the Chinese government if they want to do business there.

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