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Baidu wins dismissal of US lawsuit claiming censorship

Published on Mar 28, 2014 3:59 AM

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Baidu Inc, the Chinese Internet company, on Thursday won the dismissal of a US lawsuit by pro-democracy activists who complained that Baidu illegally suppressed their political speech from China's most widely used Internet search engine.

Eight New York writers and video producers had accused Baidu of calibrating its search engine to block users in the United States from viewing articles, videos and other information advocating greater democracy in China. They sought US$16 million (S$20 million) in damages.

US District Judge Jesse Furman in Manhattan, however, concluded that the results produced by Baidu's search engine constituted protected free speech under the US Constitution.

"The First Amendment protects Baidu's right to advocate for systems of government other than democracy (in China or elsewhere) just as surely as it protects plaintiffs' rights to advocate for democracy," Furman wrote.

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