Our Money Overseas
April 9th, 2007

Comptroller William Thompson wants to make the city’s money talk. He filed shareholder resolutions on behalf of the New York City Pension Funds with Google and Yahoo! calling on the internet giants to create a set of standards when they “conduct business with authoritarian governments.”

The proposal said the technology companies should declare that they resist “pro-active” censorship and that they not store data that could identify individuals in countries where political speech can be illegal.

But apparently, Google’s board of directors were not all that fond of the idea. MarketWatch reported last week that the company voted down the proposal.

An example of the perils of companies like this operating in repressive governments played out recently. Yahoo! reportedly gave information to Chinese authorities that led to a ten year prison sentence for a journalist. The jounalist, Shi Tao, had publicized a memo he received from the government regarding his coverage of the 15th anniversary of Tiananmen Square.

The city’s pension funds hold $110.5 million of shares in Yahoo! and $276.2 million in Google.

By on April 9, 2007, 4:35 pm
In category: Civil Rights,Gotham City,Public Finance,Tech | Comments Off on Our Money Overseas

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