London, June 25 :
Ambassadors from across Europe will attend a cocktail dinner in Paris this week heralding the launch of the continentâ€™s first dedicated web search engine, aiming to take on giants such as Google and Yahoo! But it is Accoona.euâ€™s roots in China which are likely to attract the scrutiny of human rights campaigners.
Accoona was co-founded by the Chinese government and is part owned by the China Daily Information Company, a Chinese government agency. Government restrictions on web searches and freedom of speech, in China and elsewhere, have been put in the spotlight by irrepressible.info, a campaign lau-nched last month by Amnesty International which has so far attracted more than 23,000 supporters around the world. Last week the UKâ€™s Liberal Democrats became the first political party to endorse it.
Like other search engines, Accoonaâ€™s Chinese site is subject to the censorship of politically sensitive material.