Amnesty International has accused Microsoft of supplying software to the Chinese government that has been used to track and jail dissidents operating online. Apparently China has jailed political opponents that have circulated material over the internet that is offensive to the Chinese government, and they have been using Microsoft technology to do it.
According to the source article, “The human rights group has slated Bill Gates’s company for an ‘inadequate response’ to escalating abuses in China. ‘We don’t believe this is appropriate or responsible,’ said Mark Allison, an Amnesty International researcher who wrote the report. ‘[Microsoft] should be more concerned about human rights abuses and should be using its influence to lift restrictions on freedom of expression and get people out of prison. It is worrying that they don’t seem to have raised these issues.” Microsoft responded by claiming: “We are focused on delivering the best technology to people throughout the world. However, how that technology is used is with the individual and ultimately not in the company’s control.”
Should Microsoft be criticized for not responding to what China has done with their technology? If so, what would have been the appropriate response?
I think there should be some balance between captitalism and business ethics, but I’m not sure what that balance is, nor have I decided what Microsoft was morally obligated to do in this situation. Any thoughts?
For more information, be sure to read the source article.