Posted on Tuesday, 03.09.10
Google welcomes chance to export to Iran, Cuba
By FRANK JORDANS
Associated Press Writer
GENEVA — A senior Google executive welcomed on Tuesday a U.S. decision
to relax restrictions on exporting Internet communications services to
Iran, Sudan and Cuba.
Bob Boorstin, Google's director of policy communications, said the Web
search company would now be able to offer some of its other products in
those countries, such as the mapping satellite software Google Earth,
photo management program Picasa and Internet chat client Google Talk.
"This is a great accomplishment," Boorstin told a human rights meeting
in Geneva. "We are hopeful this will help people like yourselves in this
room and activists all over the world take a small step down what is
certainly a long road ahead."
The U.S. Treasury Department said the change to existing trade sanctions
was intended to help people "exercise their most basic rights" with the
help of instant messaging service and e-mail.
Google itself has come under fire recently in countries where it operates.
Last month, an Italian court held three Google executives criminally
responsible for violating the country's privacy laws for allowing a
video of an autistic teenager being bullied to be posted online.
In January, Google threatened to leave China over attempts to snoop on
Chinese dissidents' Gmail accounts from inside the country. China's
government denies any involvement.
Boorstin described the Italian court's decision as a form of "Internet
censorship" that would "encourage repressive regimes."
"From now on, you're criminally responsible for anything that appears on
your Web site," he said. "That's certainly going to have a chilling
effect on what people are willing to put up."
On China, Boorstin said Google was already offering a "a censored search
engine" through the Google.cn domain to avoid meeting Chinese
requirements for storing sensitive data about its users on servers in
"If and when we pull out of China and turn off Google.cn, I'm afraid
that we will be taking away from the Chinese populace a tool that they
have come to value," he said.
Boorstin encouraged human rights activists also to rely on platforms
other than the Internet for transmitting information.
Google welcomes chance to export to Iran, Cuba – Technology –
MiamiHerald.com (9 March 2010)