On Thursday, Websense — a large enterprise e-mail and data security developer — said it will join the GNI. It’s an interesting addition in that its main business is web filtering. But it filters for companies, not governments, and Websense points to a long-held policy against selling to governments or ISPs that engage in government-mandated censorship. By joining GNI, Websense will commit to an external audit that its software is not used in any manner contrary to US government anti-censorship policy and the Internet freedom policies outlined in the GNI charter.
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When large enterprises like Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft join forces, you can be fairly certain politics are involved. Typically, this translates to some sort of lobbying effort, but if we’re lucky, the issue is human rights. In 2008, those three tech giants — along with a host of universities and policy institutes — formed the Global Network Initiative (GNI), an effort to maintain the privacy and freedom of citizens across a world when those rights can be compromised by modern technology.
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