Microsoft Clarifies Blogging Policy, Does the Right Thing
Published: February 1, 2006
by Alex Woodie
Microsoft doesn't have a cool corporate motto like Google's "Do No Evil," but it is trying to do the right thing as far as government censorship and blogs go. Yesterday the company's top lawyer unveiled a new set of new policies that detail how its MSN unit will act when governments request blog content be removed from the MSN Spaces Web site.
Under the new policies set forth by Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith, Microsoft will remove access to blog content only when it receives a legally binding notice and only in the country issuing the order. What's more, when it does remove content from its sites, Microsoft pledged to explain to users why it did so, and to explain that it was due to government restrictions.
The issue came to the forefront late last year when, at the request of the Chinese government, MSN removed the content of a vocal critic of the Chinese government, Zhao Jing, also known as Michael Anti. For what it's worth, Google also capitulated recently to the Chinese government, and explained that it would be a "greater evil" to pull its services out of China altogether than to go along with the government's censorship and restrict access to certain types of content.