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January 31, 2006

Microsoft changes MSN blog service policy after China row

Posted by David Hunter at 10:01 AM ET.

Jeremy Kirk at Infoworld

After outrage from many of its own employees over its abrupt censoring of a Chinese blogger, Microsoft has formulated a new policy to deal with requests from a government that alleges posted material violates its laws.

The measures were detailed by Microsoft’s top lawyer, Brad Smith, at the Government Leaders Forum in Lisbon on Tuesday.

Smith said that Microsoft will only remove blogs when given proper legal notice, and even then, will only block access to that material within the country where it is deemed unlawful. The site will still be viewable from outside the country, he said.

The shutdown of the US hosted MSN Spaces weblog of a Chinese reporter undoubtedly prompted this action. Smith says Microsoft is developing technology for country specific blocking and I’d guess they are going to need it for more places than just China.

Update: The formal press release is now available and has more details.

Filed under General Business, Governmental Relations, MSN, MSN Spaces

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