back to article Google exec: 'Corporations ignore human rights'

Google's director of public policy doesn't think that companies are doing enough to promote human rights around the globe, and that cozying up to repressive governments is bad business. "You've got to be ready to lose some money in order to protect human rights," Bob Boorstin said to applause from the assembled activists and …


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"The internet is, yes, a political, powerful tool. But what happens online does not magically transfer itself into the offline, real world. Take a look at Libya. When I was looking at Libya I saw a lot more AK-47s being used than I did smartphones."

Can some one please tell the BBC this! I saw that series they did called "How Facebook changed the world" and it had little impact on the events that happened, it helped get the message out at first but after that it had little or no effect as the events unfolded.

Perhaps it helped bring it to the Western Media a little faster but it did not have the impact most people and the BBC think it did.


let's start a facebook group

hating this post


Missing the point.

To be fair, both him and you have missed the point.

Sure when it was clear Gaddafi would rather kill his population than step down the AK-47s came out, but without a doubt the smartphones got them to that point, they were instrumental as part of the catalyst in both Libya and the arab spring in general.

It was the rapid spread of information creating realisation amongst the populace that they were all fed up coupled with the largely anonymous and widespread distributed nature of these technology mediums meaning they bypassed the ability of the secret police services in these nations to just abduct and torture anyone showing a sign of dissent.

Simply put, technology created a situation where people could express their feelings honestly, to a large audience, and at a rate and in a way with which the regimes in question could not possibly deal with or keep up with. This would've been difficult or impossibly otherwise.

So sure AK-47s won the day, but no one in Libya would've been willing to risk their life and charge that first military base in Benghazi through fear of the fact they'd charge alone, and die alone, to even get those AK-47s in the first place if it weren't for the smartphones.

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'HP's China man Todd Bradley answered: "It's not my job to really understand what they're going to use if for."'

Isn't that what IBM said while selling computers to the Nazis?


No, it''s HP's standard policy for anything they do. Honestly, they're about the last chance for employment before you get so incompetent that you get hired into government school bureaucracy.


What about Google+?

Remember April 2009, when Google refused to require YouTube users to register their government-sanctioned names at the demand of South Korea, because Google said (correctly) that it was an unacceptable a priori restriction on freedom of expression? I do. A pity that Google seems to have forgotten it.

"Vic" (not his real name) Gundotra says that Google+ will "plan to support pseudonyms in the future". "In the future"? It's a bad policy, it's always been a bad policy -- so what's the hold up? It's a POLICY. There is no technical reason for their anti-user, anti-privacy, anti-social "real" name policy: it can be changed with a memo. Until it does, stay far away from Google+.

"We have a bias in favor of people's right to free expression in everything we do. We are driven by a belief that more information generally means more choice, more freedom and ultimately more power for the individual. We believe that it is important for free expression that people have the right to remain anonymous if they choose." -- Rachel Whetstone, Google Vice President of Global Communications & Public Affairs, April 2009

South Korea is abolishing that requirement, by the way. Apparently, they have decided that it is too great a threat to privacy.


Pope has ''religious tendencies"...

bears... etc....

I am in a massive battle at the moment with a couple of companies.

All to do with another 'evil' company. Yeah google are evil - get over it.

Become angry - don't sublimate it - you are being rogered over. Do something about it.

That company is called Gravatar.

Did you know that if you 'knock up' a Wordpress page for shits and giggles, then any information you give is held on their servers and not deletable? That is right - held for ever and ever.

Also they can 'share' (sell) your personal information. I refer to this page:

I quote:


We don’t share your personal information with anyone except to comply with the law, develop our products, or protect our rights.


Well, that is alright then innit?

I did a 'test' page for a mutual friend for another mutual friend of ours who had recently died a terrible, slow and painful death through cancer.

How shocked was I, when several months later, the photos of said mutual dead friend popped up on a forum where I had registered to get support for some very expensive audio software I had just bought. I mailed them and they assured me that no no no they don't do dat...

But they lied. I can prove they lied. They could just not deal with me going ballistic.

(if you are getting bored or find this post irrelevant - then you know what to do - those that find it pertinent, read on)

But what has really shocked me is that Gravatar/Wordpress have sold my private/personal information to one of the top Malware (little clue there for you - I will publish their name soon enough, but want to get the battle over with first) fighters in the industry. I registered on their forum to get some help with their software which, again, I had just bought. Cue photo of dead friend and the pain of his slow death coming back to haunt me, just when I was starting to get over it. (I know I have been a fool and it is my own fault and I take full responsibility for my actions)

I can think of why this is such a personal security breach on so many levels that I just do not have the time to write them all down.

So, the moral of this story is:

If you have any dealings with this company, they will hold your information 'for ever' and sell it to who ever the f they like, for their 'development of their products'. You will NOT be able to delete it EVER. In law, they could sell it to who they want and there is not a damn thing you can do about it.

So go ahead, use Wordpress, use any of these services:




et al.

All 26 of them.

I will finish on a quote from their page:


“We are much better at writing code than haiku.”

— Matt Mullenweg, founder of Automattic


Yes Matt, you are right.

But what you neglected to say was this:

"We are much better at 'internet-rape' than writing code".

And believe me, I know all about rape, so don't go there.

I use these words unreservedly. And I don't use them lightly.

Yes, I am a little bit upset at having my naivety thrown back in my face like this.

And google et al are cut from the same cloth. They deleted my account when I would not photocopy my passport or driving licence to send to them in the post. When I messed about with my account (I should have had it backed up and take full responsiblity again, so don't bother with the comments please - I've already thought of it). The only thing important in that account was a couple of emails from aforementioned dead friend (I did back those up though - thank you very much). But they didn't know that.

Oh, I got the photos deleted eventually, but f me, what a palaver - took me hours to go through their bullshit. But my details are with them for ever even though they might not be publicly accessible. And I had to delete the whole account - no provision for just deleting photos that I could find.

Evil bastards.

It is only an 'electronic' war for now. But I for one, am hoping it becomes a proper trenches and bayonets affair. Can you see which side of the lines I am on boys?

Not many things I would die for. Not Afghanistan, not Iraq, not Libya, not Iran.

But I would gladly give of my mortal coil....

Enough. I've made my point.

I'll be surprised if you post this Reg, ol' chap, but if you do, you will go even higher up in my estimation. Then again, if you don't...

Which side are you on boys?

This stuff is going on, it won't go away and real people - good people - are being hurt by it.

Corporations ignore human rights. Do they? No, they smack them round for a bit first, then stick the boot in, just before they cut the corpse to pieces and then piss on it. They finish their fun off with a good shit. Then send the photo home to mummy.

Stay classy google/gravatar.

Just don't tell anyone you meet randomly in a bar that you work for those companies.

Lest you 'bump' into me.

Oh lord how I prey for the day (sic).


"I think of all those wonderful French weapons manufacturers on their way to Tehran"

I think of all those wonderful top notch F14s sold to a then-friendly but dictatorial Shah...

Anonymous Coward

Human rights?

Like the right to privacy? Jog on Google...


Sorry for my little rant...

The reverse engineers amongst you might have deduced I was a trifle miffed.

Back to normal.

As you were.

I'm going to see my g/f later. I'm going to 'ignore' her over the chesterfield. 'Ignore' her black and blue. I'm gonna 'ignore' her till she can't take no more. "Darling, do you fancy getting a little euFUmistic with me?". "They're all at it."


'Ignore' human rights. Yeah. There's only two things I hate more than a bad man. The lesser of those two is a bad man who is a hypocrite. The greater is a bad man who is not just a hypocrite but a liar to boot as well. Guess which one I think the google exec is?

I'm calming down a bit and will probably be okay by evening. When nurse comes.

Anonymous Coward

Bradley a good boy, and come get your medication.

You know how unstable you get when you miss a dose.

Now, now there, things wil be better once you have had a rest.


Gasp shock horror breaking news!

Ooh, ya think? Global corporations ignoring human rights? Surely these profit driven behemoths are established bastions of ethical and moral fortitude?

Thanks God someone pointed this out to me, I would otherwise have ben completely unaware of such issues. Now where are my trainers... ah damnit get a move on slave... i mean, um, outsourced contractor.

Silver badge

Premise is quite wrong. Global corporations don't recognise any non global corporation rights as even existing.

Anonymous Coward


Does asking companies to be anything more than amoral capitalist entities without judgement such as in the case of Wikileaks, not preclude demanding a moral stance with regards to not dealing with other organisations?


In other news

an unnamed corporate executive today let slip that corporations exist to (gasp!) make money.

And nothing else.

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