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Archive for October 6th, 2006

From Wired News:

Internet search leader Google is in talks to acquire the popular online video site YouTube for about $1.6 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Mountain View-based Google and San Mateo-based YouTube are still at a sensitive stage in the discussion, the newspaper reported on its website.

The blog TechCrunch had reported on rumors of the acquisition talks. Representatives from Google and YouTube did not immediately return calls to The Associated Press.

We will see what happens with censorship in YouTube, that has been somewhat normal nowadays. Also it has been a normal policy of Google.

By a comment in this blog, I was informed of a campaign -I had forgotten 馃槮 – of Amnesty International, about the role of Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! in China: Undermining Freedom of Expression in China.

While the use of information and communications technology to suppress dissent has been documented in many countries, it is the example of China that has generated the most public and political concern internationally.

In part this is because the apparatus of Internet repression is considered to be more advanced in China than in any other country, and in part because of the willingness of Internet hardware and software companies to cooperate with the Chinese government in their quest to develop a large and lucrative market.

The control the Chinese authorities maintain over their citizens’ right to freedom of expression and information is continuing and pervasive. This has put the spotlight on the contribution of Internet companies such as Yahoo!, Microsoft and Google to China’s efforts to maintain such control and restrict fundamental freedoms. In assisting the Chinese administration by complying with its censorship demands, these companies are seen to be facilitating or sanctioning the government’s efforts to control the free flow of information. They thereby contravene established international norms and values, and compromise their own stated principles.

International concern regarding the role of US companies in China’s Internet censorship policy has led the US House of Representatives Committee on International Relations to hold a joint hearing of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations and the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.

Among the parties that provided testimony, views were expressed that US Internet companies, including Yahoo!, Microsoft and Google, have colluded with the Chinese authorities, undermining their self-proclaimed corporate values, as well as the human right to freedom of expression and information. Although there are other Internet companies worthy of investigation for involvement and assistance in the Chinese government’s Internet censorship, as well as the suppression of dissent, the focus of this report is limited to Yahoo!, Microsoft and Google.

All three companies have, in one way or another, facilitated or colluded in the practice of censorship in China. Yahoo! has provided the Chineseauthorities with private and confidential information about its users.This included personal data that has been used to convict at least two journalists, considered by Amnesty International to be prisoners of conscience. Microsoft has admitted to shutting down a blog on the basis of a government request. Google has launched a censored version of its international search engine in China. All three companies have demonstrated a disregard for their own internally driven and proclaimed policies. They have made promises to themselves, their employees, their customers and their investors which they failed to uphold in the face of business opportunities and pressure from the Chinese government. This raises doubts about which statements made by these organisations can be trusted and which ones are public relations gestures.

Of the three companies, Google has come closest to acknowledging publicly that its practices are at odds with its principles, and to making a commitment to increase transparency by informing users in China when a web search has been filtered. Although there are many other transparency options that the company should consider, these are welcome first steps.While each of Yahoo!, Microsoft and Google may be considered to be complicit in the Chinese government’s denial of freedom of information, Yahoo!’s actions have, in particular, assisted the suppression of dissent with severe consequences for those affected. The company allowed its Chinese partner to pass evidence to the authorities that was subsequently used to convict individuals, at least two of whom received long prison sentences for peacefully exercising their legitimate right to freedom of expression.

Thus Yahoo! appears to have failed to honour its responsibility to ensure that its own operations and those of its partners are not complicit in human rights abuses. This is in breach of widely recognised international human rights principles for companies

El l铆der de las b煤squedas en Internet, Google, va a adquirir el sitio de v铆deos de YouTube, por aproximadamente 1.6 billones de d贸lares, seg煤n ha informado el Wall Street Journal, aunque las conversaciones est谩n todav铆a en un momento sensible.

Veremos si esto incrementa o disminuya la censura que se respira en Youtube y en Google. Hay que se帽alar que Amnist铆a Internacional present贸 un informe sobre c贸mo Google, Yahoo! y Microsoft hab铆an cambiado sus pol铆ticas para complacer al Gobierno chino en sus demandas de l铆mites a la libertad de expresi贸n.

UPDATE: According to Financial Times, there are several suitors pursuing YouTube. Among others, FT points to聽Ruphert Murdoch, from News Corp (owner of Fox News, for example).

Warner is also interested in YouTube: Warner Music

has agreed to make its library of music videos available to YouTube, marking the first time that an established record company has agreed to distribute its content through the user-generated media company.

Under the agreement, YouTube users will have full access to videos from Warner artists like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Madonna. They will also be permitted incorporate material from those videos into the clips that they create and upload to YouTube. Warner and YouTube will share advertising revenue sold in connection with the video content.

No s贸lo Google quiere comprar YouTube: el peri贸dico Financial Times apunta a Rupert Murdoch como otro de los intereados.

Por otra parte Warner Music va a empezar a distribuir los videos de sus artistas en YouTube, pudiendo los usuarios, no s贸lo verlos si no modificarlos y volverlos a colgar del sitio de descarga.

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Sky News (HT/ Atlas Shrugs) has released a shocking video about the new way to execute prisoners: Chinese authorities are using buses to kill prisoners sentenced to death with letal injections. This way it is much easier to remove the prisoners’ organs, contributing thus to the flourishing of the transplant’ s market in China, as I have written here before. The use of torture to obtain confessions is also widespread. And the prisoners’ name, even if they are found innocent after the execution, is not cleared.

There are very few people confronting the system. In the video we can see one of the few lawyers defending the prisoners: he tells the reporter that 99,99% of all the people accused of crimes punished with death penalty, are condemned. After the interview, the lawyer was detained, and nobody knows what ha happened to him.

UPDATE: Flagrant Labour links to Chinese International Organ Transplant which says:

Although the procedure to select a donor is very strict,, the transplant operation will be terminated if the doctor discovers that there is something wrong with the donor鈥檚 organ . If this happens, the patient will have the option to be offered another organ donor and have the operation again in one week.

Un v铆deo de Sky News revela la nueva forma de ejecutar prisioneros: la autoridades chinas han puesto en servicio unos autocares en los que los condenados a muerte son ejecutados mediante la inyecci贸n letal. De esta forma es mucho m谩s f谩cil retirar los 贸rganos a los prisioneros, lo que contribuye al florecimiento del mercado de transplantes en China, como ya he se帽alado antes en este blog (links arriba). El uso de tortura para obtener confesiones est谩 muy extendido. Y si resulta que el condenado a muerte era inocente, no se considera que hubo error alguno por parte de las autoridades.

Muy pocas personas se enfrentan al sistema. En el v铆deo, entrevistan a uno de los pocos abogados que defiende a los prisioneros: le cuenta al reportero que el 99,99% de los acusados de un crimen castigado con la muerte, son condenados. Despu茅s de la entrevista, el abogado fue detenido y nadie sabe cu谩l es su paradero actual.

Seg煤n la Organizaci贸n China de Transplantes de 贸rganos, “aunque nuestro procedimiento para seleccionar un donante es muy estricto, la operaci贸n de transplante ser谩 interrumpida si el doctor descubre que el 贸rgano del donante est谩 da帽ado. Si esto ocurre, el paciente tendr谩 la oportunidad de que se le ofrezca el 贸rgano de otro donante y una nueva operaci贸n en una semana”

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Sent to Open Trackbacks in Blue Star Chronicles, Dumb Ox.

Others blogging about this same topic: RightVoices, Conservative Blog Therapy, Clarity and Resolve, The Asylum, HotAir, Politbur贸 Diktat, BelchSpeak, OldWarDogs, The Asylum Pundits, The Autopsy, nimne, Leatherneckm31.

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