WebProNews -Google Faces Pressure Over CensorshipSat Apr 7, 2007 15:22
WebProNews - Google Faces Pressure Over Censorship
April 07, 2007
Google Faces Pressure Over Censorship
David A. Utter | Staff Writer
Shareholders will have the opportunity to vote on a proposal
during the upcoming annual meeting that would call on Google to
take a strong stance against censorship and abusive regimes.
Delving into the mind-numbing forms and filings made by publicly
traded companies is a lot like muckraking. That's a term that has
been applied, usually negatively, to journalists over the years.
The person with the figurative shovel and a persistent attitude
gets tagged with a pejorative just for working hard.
Sometimes the old muckrake turns up a nugget of gold, as the
New York Times did when they excavated some valuable bits from
Google's 14-A filing with the SEC. While it's fascinating to be
reminded, yet again, that Google's billionaire power trio of Eric
Schmidt, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin will draw a $1 salary,
something that has made it onto Google's slate of activities
for its annual stockholder meeting is a little more intriguing.
The Office of the Comptroller of New York City controls several
powerful pension funds: police, fire, teachers, and city employees
among them. They own 486,617 shares of Google's Class A stock,
and are using their position to force Google's shareholders to
consider the company's ongoing role in countries that routinely
censor the Internet.
Their proposal would require Google's management to help protect
the freedom to access the Internet by individuals in countries
ruled by authoritarian governments. The Funds have asked Google
not to retain personally identifying information "in Internet
restricting countries, where political speech can be treated as
a crime by the legal system."
MySpace To Hold Presidential Primary
MySpace is becoming more involved in the political process and today announced plans to hold their own Presidential primary. The social networking giant will hold virtual elections on January 1 and 2, 2008.
For quite some time Google has provided a keyword tool for advertisers with search volume represented by a green bar. While this green bar did help to indicate the popularity of a specific term, there was no way to know the actual number of searches.
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