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MSN Spaces censorship policy

by Brandon on February 1st, 2006

Now this is the kind of news that makes me proud of Microsoft.  MSN Spaces has published a new Policy Framework for dealing with Government Restrictions on Blog Content.

Here’s the jist of it.  I’m especially fond of #2 which I believe is really a huge step forward – allowing Microsoft to obey regional laws while still maintaining the user’s right to publish content in the free world.

Speaking before a conference of government officials and community leaders in Lisbon, Portugal, Microsoft Senior Vice President and General Counsel Brad Smith reaffirmed the company’s commitment to blogging as an important vehicle for sharing of information and ideas, and outlined the policy framework that would guide Microsoft in dealing with government orders related to blog content:

Explicit standards for protecting content access: Microsoft will remove access to blog content only when it receives a legally binding notice from the government indicating that the material violates local laws, or if the content violates MSN’s terms of use.
Maintaining global access: Microsoft will remove access to content only in the country issuing the order. When blog content is blocked due to restrictions based on local laws, the rest of the world will continue to have access. This is a new capability Microsoft is implementing in the MSN Spaces infrastructure. 
Transparent user notification: When local laws require the company to block access to certain content, Microsoft will ensure that users know why that content was blocked, by notifying them that access has been limited due to a government restriction.

You can read the rest at the source.

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