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Tort and technology: Lawyers and legislators put pressure on globe-trotting tech firms [China]

Author: Economist, Published on: 21 July 2011

In May and June human-rights lawyers in America filed two suits [under the Alien Tort Claims Act] alleging that executives at Cisco Systems…sold China’s government equipment customised to help track dissenters online…Cisco denies all wrongdoing…American tech firms covet China’s huge market…Microsoft confirmed that its Bing search engine will soon be powering English-language results for local users of Baidu, China’s censored search giant… Campaigners in New York have started a suit against Baidu, saying its censored search results violate their constitutional rights…[However] suits against Cisco or other high-tech players face an uncertain legal path…Some American politicians think clearer legislation would help. One long-mooted bill, the Global Online Freedom Act, would make the government keep a list of internet-restricting states… [also mentions Facebook, Google, Yahoo]

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Related companies: Baidu Bing (part of Microsoft) Cisco Systems Facebook Google (part of Alphabet) Microsoft Yahoo! (part of Verizon)