FutureFive NZ - Ballmer defends Internet freedom, trade with China

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Ballmer defends Internet freedom, trade with China

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has spoken out over censorship, but has also announced that Microsoft intends to continue to do business with China.

In a blog post released Wednesday, Ballmer said that “Microsoft is committed to protecting and advancing free expression throughout the world” but will still “comply with local laws in the 100+ countries in which [they] operate”.

“In many countries throughout the world, Internet and technology companies must comply with laws that impact privacy and freedom of expression, particularly peaceful political expression."

“Engagement in China and around the world is very important to us, in part because we believe it accelerates access to 21st century technology and services and helps provide the widest possible range of ideas and information. We have done business in China for more than 20 years and we intend to stay engaged, which means our business must respect the laws of China. That’s true for every company doing business in countries around the world: we are all subject to local laws."

“At the same time, Microsoft is opposed to restrictions on peaceful political expression, and we have conversations with governments to make our views known. In every country in which we operate, including China, Microsoft requires proper legal authority before we remove any Internet content; and if we remove content, we give users notice.”

Ballmer’s comments follow the revelation that Google had been the target of a sophisticated attack, originating from China.

To read Ballmer’s full post click here.

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