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U.S. mulls case against China over Internet censorship

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 10 Mar 2010 9:02 User comments (2)

U.S. mulls case against China over Internet censorship The United States is considering whether it can mount a legal challenge against Chinese Internet restrictions that it claims hurt U.S. companies such as Google Inc. in the Chinese market. U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk revealed Washington's consideration on Tuesday, but added that direct talks with Beijing could yield faster results.
"We are still dialoguing not just with Google, but with other Internet providers, to make sure we fully understand what is happening in China," Kirk said in remarks at the National Press Club. The case would be the first of its kind taken up by the WTO if it is to go ahead. Such a case has been pushed by free speech groups within the United States, such as the First Amendment Coalition, for years.

The case of Internet censorship has come to the limelight again this year since Google threatened to leave the Chinese market. While having to comply with strict Chinese censorship regulations, Google was also targeted by hackers in the country. The attacks were aimed at Google's valuable source codes and other property, and also the e-mail accounts of human rights activists in China.

Kirk said that a faster solution by way of Beijing talks would benefit U.S. companies in the market, particularly in this economic climate, but that the U.S. was not afraid to go to the WTO if it was left with no other choice.

In another complaint, Kirk said the U.S. hopes to challenge China's "indigenous innovation" rules which he claims favors companies that develop IP for new products in China. The Chinese government contends that the policy is meant to spur Chinese innovation, but the U.S. sees it as a trade barrier that does not reflect product development in the global economy.

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2 user comments

110.3.2010 19:29

Here in the enlightened US, we don't allow internet censorship! We have much greater freedom of speech on the web with our no-questions-asked, DMCA takedown notices.

210.3.2010 22:47

As if our politicians don't have more important things to worry about. China is not going to change its policies, let it go. Why would a country like China heed our politicians advise, with the state of ruin we're in?
I'm not trying to be anti-American, but we need to fix our broken system at home before telling others what to do. Lets focus on that.

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