Investment funds and analysts to monitor what Internet firms do in repressive countries

first_img At the initiative of Reporters Without Borders, 25 US, Canadian, Australian and European investment funds managing around 21 billion dollars in assets said they are committed to online freedom of expression in a joint statement issued a news conference today in New York. As part of their commitment, they are undertaking to monitor the activities of Internet sector companies in repressive countries. The statement is above all targeted at companies such as Yahoo!, Cisco Systems and Microsoft that help the Chinese authorities censor the Internet or operate online surveillance systems.The text of the statement and list of signatories: Organisation RSF_en News Related documents Download the declarationPDF – 17.68 KB November 7, 2005 – Updated on January 25, 2016 Investment funds and analysts to monitor what Internet firms do in repressive countries Help by sharing this information Background : Reporters Without Borders has on several occasions condemned the ethical lapses displayed by certain Internet sector companies when operating in repressive countries. The organisation wrote to Yahoo! in July 2002 asking it to explain why it helps Chinese government agencies responsible for censorship. The California-based corporation has for years agreed to censor the Chinese version of its search engine so that, for example, searches for such word strings as “Falungong” or “human rights in China” will display content from official sources only. Reporters Without Borders also tried to get in contact with Cisco Systems, Yahoo! and Microsoft in December 2003 in the hope of being able to talk about the consequences of their activities for freedom of expression. Our letters received no reply.As a result, the organisation investigated other ways of getting its views across. It got in touch with investment funds which are existing or potential shareholders in these companies. Boston Common Asset Management, a US investment company that practices Socially Responsible Investment (SRI), agreed right away to look at the issue. It was joined soon afterwards by Domini Social Investment. These two investment companies began by writing to Cisco Systems chief executive John Chambers to request more transparency about the type of equipment and training programmes his company has sold to China in the past 10 years. Many statements and documents indicate that Cisco Systems has provided the Chinese police with technology that allows it to censor the Internet and monitor people while online. But this request was also ignored. Boston Common and Domini then decided to draw up a shareholder resolution in which they reiterate they request for information about Cisco’s activities in countries that are known to flout freedom of expression. This resolution will be voted on at the next general meeting of the company’s shareholders on 15 November.While pleased with this initiative, Reporters Without Borders wanted to go further and get other investment firms and business analysts to take a stand on the issue. So, together with Boston Common and Domini, it drafted a “Joint Statement on Freedom of Expression and the Internet.” The signatories affirm that respect for free expression is one of the criteria they will take into account when deciding where to invest. They add that they will step up their monitoring of Internet sector companies whose business activities have an impact on the free flow of information online. And they also undertake to support resolutions favouring free expression that are presented at shareholders’ meetings.The statement has already been signed by 25 investment firms managing some 21 billion dollars in assets. Reporters Without Borders hopes that other investment companies will join this initiative, especially traditional funds that do no specialise in ethical investing. The organisation meanwhile deplores the lack of interest shown by European socially responsible investment companies, of which so far only one has agreed to sign.Reporters Without Borders points out that this statement is not just targeted at Yahoo!, Microsoft and Cisco Systems. There has been a great deal of comment of late about such cases as the Chinese journalist, Shi Tao, who got a 10-year prison sentence on the basis of information supplied by Yahoo!, and Microsoft’s agreeing to censor the Chinese version of its MSN Spaces blog tool. But other companies participate in online censorship and surveillance in China. Google, for example, decided in July 2004 to exclude any “subversive” website from the Chinese version of its news search engine.Finally, this statement’s cope is not limited to just China. It could, for example, also apply to Fortinet, the company that installed Internet filters for the Burmese junta, or Secure Computing, which did the same in Tunisia. At the initiative of Reporters Without Borders, 25 US, Canadian, Australian and European investment funds managing around 21 billion dollars in assets issued a joint statement today in New York about their Internet sector investments. last_img read more

Should Thomond Park’s naming rights be available for sale?

first_imgFacebook Previous articleWomen dancing in the limelightNext articleCouncil to begin taking over Limerick estates admin Rhys Marshall confirmed as latest Munster departure online poll by Opinion Stage Linkedin Twitter 2021 British and Irish Lions Tour to be shown on free-to-air television CommentNewsCommunityLocal NewsRugbyMunsterSportShould Thomond Park’s naming rights be available for sale?By admin – May 8, 2014 661 Team News: Munster name team to take on Ulster at Thomond Park WhatsAppcenter_img TAGSMunsterMusic LimerickRugbyThomond Park RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Munster announce departure of long-serving prop James Cronin Print Craig Casey praises the influence of Conor Murray Advertisement Email Tom Savage: Hooker an area where Munster can find improvement going forwardlast_img read more

Power outage hits large portions of Manhattan in New York City

first_imgfranckreporter/iStockBy WILLIAM MANSELL, ABC News(NEW YORK) — Large portions of Manhattan in New York City were without power Friday morning as at least 1.3 million people are still without power along the East Coast after Isaias wreaked havoc on the region earlier this week.Con Edison, the city’s main power company, said there are at least 123,808 customers without power, including those who had previously lost power as a result of the storm, as of 6:30 a.m. Friday.The new power outages in New York City Friday, according to Con Ed’s outage map, were in the Upper West Side, Harlem and Upper East Side neighborhoods.ConEd, in a statement to ABC News, said the supply has been restored to those areas.“We are investigating a problem on our transmission system that caused three networks in Manhattan to lose their electric supply at about 5:13 this morning,” ConEd said in a statement.A live camera from ABC News New York City station WABC-TV showed a large section of the Upper West Side completely dark. A station camera also showed the electricity out in the Upper East Side.Subways in the city are also being impacted because of the Manhattan power outage, according to the Metropolitan Transit Authority.Lines impacted, according to the MTA, include the A, B, C, D, 1,2,3, E, F, N, Q, and R trains.“Expect delays as we are getting reports of power outages in some parts of uptown Manhattan,” the MTA tweeted. “This is also affecting stations and third-rail power.”Thousands have been without power in the city this week as a result of Isaias.“We realize it is incredibly frustrating to be without power and that is why we are working around the clock to get customers back in service,” Robert Schimmenti, Con Edison’s senior vice president, Electric Operations, said in a statement Thursday. “We have additional mutual aid and contractor workers arriving each day to help us restore service safely. We assure our customers that our crews will remain on the job 24-7 until everyone has their power back.” Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Joint Dutch survey on addiction highlights problem gambling behaviours

first_img Related Articles StumbleUpon Submit Share Share KSA issues ‘conduct warning’ following covid marketing breaches July 28, 2020 An online survey carried out by the Dutch gambling authority, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), in collaboration with treatment foundation AGOG has found that half of its respondents spent more than €1,000 each month on gambling. The joint survey considered the responses of 86 people who have signed up with AGOG, which organises weekly meetings for players at risk of problem gambling behaviours. In its research, 223 of AGOG’s members were invited to take part in the survey, however, only 39 per cent responded to the request.While the KSA emphasised that the study sample was not indicative nor representative of the entire AGOG membership, the regulator stated that it was able to draw a number of findings from the survey which can help inform future policies. The report found that those who had experienced problem gambling were more inclined to gamble using gaming terminals, with 67 per cent of respondents saying they took part in this form of gaming.One-third of respondents confirmed that they would take part in gambling activities on average two to three times a week in the year before they sought help, while another third stated that they gambled four to six times a week. A quarter of them gambled daily.The KSA has confirmed that it will use the findings of the survey to gain further insight into gambling behaviours, allowing the regulator to ‘use the results for drawing up the annual market scan and in general for policy development.’Earlier this month, Kansspelautoriteit governance confirmed a six-month delay to the pending legalisation of the country’s online gambling market.Sander Dekker, the Dutch justice minister, informed the Netherlands parliament on the delay, with the Remote Gambling Act (Koa) set to “come into effect” on January 1, 2020 – six months later than previously planned. KSA launches operator tender for problem gambling helpline June 22, 2020 KSA report reveals age verification failings June 29, 2020last_img read more