One exchange, though, with Rep. Tom Lantos, a California Democrat, stood out. Lantos, who is co-chairman of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, quizzed executives from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Cisco Systems not about technical or legal details -- but about their view of the morality of cooperating with China's ruling Communist Party. Lantos, a Budapest-born Jew who represents the southwest quadrant of San Francisco, is the only member of Congress who is a Holocaust survivor.
Lantos, to Microsoft: Is your company ashamed?
Microsoft: We comply with legally binding orders whether it's here in the U.S. or China.
Lantos: Well, IBM complied with legal orders when they cooperated with Nazi Germany. Those were legal orders under the Nazi German system...Do you think that IBM during that period had something to be ashamed of?
Microsoft: I can't speak to that. I'm not familiar in detail with IBM's activities in that period.
Lantos: You heard (Rep. Christopher Smith's) speech. Assuming that his words are accurate, is IBM to be ashamed of their action during that period?
Microsoft: Congressman, I don't think it's my position to say whether IBM should be ashamed.