Freedom of Expression and the Internet
Technology. In the last few decades, it has permanently altered the way we communicate and live.
From the Internet to the iPad, advancements in technology have given immediate access to information with the push of a button.
But as technology has advanced and the industry has become more profitable, multinational corporations have been quick to bend to the will of corrupt governments and in some cases are the perpetrators of human rights abuses themselves.
An example is the creation of the “Great Firewall of China”; a technology used to closely monitor the activity of Internet users and block access to information. People in China searching for Amnesty International’s website or those of other human rights organizations will come up empty-handed.
We’ve also seen the incarceration of Internet dissidents such as Shi Tao, a Chinese journalist imprisoned for 10 years after sending an email to a pro-democracy website in the U.S. regarding the 15th Anniversary of Tiananmen Square.
Since 2002, Amnesty International has engaged with tech companies such as Yahoo!, Google and Microsoft on Internet censorship through multi-stakeholder initiatives, legislative advocacy and shareholder activism.
With the recent uprisings in the Middle East in 2011, and the use of technology to promote or impede the spread of human rights, Amnesty International will continue to engage with corporations on these pertinent issues.