BOSTON, MA – Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) issued its mainstream investor vote recommendation today in favor of Boston Common’s shareholder proposal on human rights and Internet fragmentation.  ISS is a leading proxy voting agency that issues impartial vote recommendations for nearly 1,700 institutional investors worldwide.  “The ‘FOR’ vote in support of shareholders, and against management, is a clear indication of growing concern among investors about the role U.S. technology companies play in socially and politically repressive markets” said Dawn Wolfe, Social Research Analyst at Boston Common Asset Management.  The proposal, co-filed by four additional investors, asks management to disclose the concrete steps it could reasonably take to reduce fragmentation of the Internet, the suppression of information, or violations of personal privacy.  Internet fragmentation, or balkanization, occurs when government authorities create extensive firewalls around citizens, severely restrict the flow of information, conduct pervasive surveillance of electronic communication users, and ultimately slow the growth of people accessing the Internet.  Boston Common began formal engagement with Cisco in January 2005 over the human rights and long term financial impacts of selling powerful networking technology to repressive governments.

Published On: November 1, 2006Categories: From the Commons