March 27, 2008 / 12:13 AM / 10 years ago

Google holders seek human rights, censorship review

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Shareholders of Google Inc will propose that the Web search company take steps to ensure freedom of Internet access and establish a review of its operations’ effect on human rights, according to a regulatory filing on Tuesday.

Employees, or Googlers as they are known, take a break at the New York City offices of Google, March 10, 2008. Shareholders of Google will propose that the company take steps to ensure freedom of Internet access and establish a review of its operations' effect on human rights, according to a regulatory filing on Tuesday. REUTERS/Erin Siegal

In one proposal expected to be submitted at the company’s 2008 annual meeting on May 8, shareholders will ask Google to commit to certain standards, including a pledge not to engage in proactive censorship or host user data in countries that restrict political speech.

The proposal will be raised by the New York City comptroller’s office, which oversees the New York City Employees Retirement System as well as retirement funds for city teachers, police and firefighters, Google said in its proxy filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

A second proposal put forward by Harrington Investments requests that the company create a board committee on human rights to review the implications of its policies on a worldwide basis.

Google said its board recommends that investors vote against both proposals.

The Web search leader will ask investors to keep its slate of 10 directors in office for another year.

Reporting by Michele Gershberg, editing by Richard Chang

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