Baidu Sued for Helping With Chinese Internet Censorship

Baidu Sued for Helping With Chinese Internet Censorship

By Helena Zhu
Epoch Times Staff

Created: May 18, 2011Last Updated: May 18, 2011

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Related articles: China > Democracy and Human Rights

Baidu Inc., owner of China’s biggest search engine, was sued on Wednesday by eight New York residents for conspiring with the Chinese regime to censor pro-democracy speech. (The Epoch Times)

Baidu Inc., owner of China’s biggest search engine, was sued on  Wednesday for conspiring with the Chinese regime to censor pro-democracy  speech on the Internet.

In a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, eight Chinese residents in New York seek $16 million in damages from the company and the Chinese regime after their “writing, publications, and coverage of pro-democracy events” were banned from thesearch engine,  according to  Bloomberg News.

The complaint said that the defendants violate the U.S. Constitution  because the censorship also affects search results in the United States. The plaintiffs, who are pro-democracy activists, also charge Baidu and the Chinese regime for violating New York State civil rights law.

“We allege a private company is acting as the arm and agent of a foreign state to suppress political speech, and permeate U.S. borders to violate the First Amendment,” Stephen Preziosi, the lawyer for the  plaintiffs, told Reuters in an interview.

In China, search results for terms deemed sensitive by the Chinese  regime are routinely filtered out and blocked. China also blocks social  networking sites such as Facebook, Flickr, Google’s YouTube, and  Twitter.

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