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Yahoo, Microsoft, Google Ratify Human Rights Guidelines

In a move to reduce the possible risk of their actions that can lead to human right violations, leading tech companies including Yahoo, Microsoft and Google have signed a set of voluntary guidelines than that will guide their business practices while operating overseas.

The voluntary guidelines drawn up under the Global Network Initiative have been decided in association with human right groups like Human Rights First, comes in the wake of severe criticism that these companies experienced owing to their acceding to Chinese request for internet controls.

Incidentally, the Amnesty International in 2006 had accused Google, Microsoft and Yahoo of human rights violations owing to their actions that restricted free speech with an eye on grabbing the Chinese market.

The guidelines urge companies to assess risks related to possible human right abuses that may occur before moving forward with launching businesses in foreign nations.

Expressing the support for the initiative, Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang in a statement mentioned that "These principles provide a valuable roadmap for companies like Yahoo operating in markets where freedom of expression and privacy are unfairly restricted."

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.