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Amnesty International targets Sun, Nortel, Cisco and Yahoo!

By Simon Aughton

Posted on 20 Jul 2006 at 15:59

Human rights group Amnesty International has launched global campaign against internet repression, targeting companies including Sun Microsystems, Nortel Networks, Cisco Systems, Yahoo! and Google which it says are among those implicated in helping governments censor the Internet or track down individual users.

The campaign aims to claim back the Web as a force for change in the face of what the campaign group describes as increasing willingness on the part of technology companies to aid censorship and repression.

'From Iran to the Maldives and Cuba to Vietnam, governments are both cracking down on those who use the Internet to communicate their views and denying their citizens access to its wealth of information,' Amnesty said. 'Web users are locked up, Internet cafes are shut down, chat rooms are policed and blogs deleted. Websites are blocked, foreign news banned, and search engines filter out sensitive results.'

By contrast, the Web could and can be used to promote human rights, with activists able to tell the world about abuses in their country at the click of a mouse.

'We are calling on Internet users across the world to go to irrepressible.info and sign a pledge calling on all governments and companies to respect Internet freedom,' Amnesty International said.

The online pledges will be collected and presented to a United Nations meeting on the future of the Internet in November 2006.

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