Free Speech

{ Responsible Care Logo } This is a clarification of Dow's recent actions in protecting Freedom of Speech.

On December 3, DowEthics became aware of an unauthorized web site residing at

Our lawyers and publicity department were deeply troubled by this website, as it purported to explain in unvarnished language why Dow is not cleaning up the site of an industrial incident that occurred many years ago in India.

The website was an affront to our right to Free Speech, and we immediately contacted the upstream provider for this false website, gently requesting that our rights be protected.

The provider, Verio, graciously complied with our letter citing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Not only did they shut down, but as a good corporate citizen, they agreed to shut down an entire network ( of websites many of which, while unrelated to, appear to serve no commercial purpose, being dedicated to the unproductive analysis and critique of society and corporate behaviour.

We applaud the courage of Verio in taking this act, as it sends a strong signal to the "artists, activists," and other blatantly non-commercial users of That message can be stated simply: Corporate America will defend its right to Free Speech on the internet rigorously. Verio ensured that this message was understood by giving a 60-day eviction notice following the network's restoration to the internet. This is the kind of justice which Dow can afford, and which we hope will become a model for the future of the internet.

Corporate Freedom of Speech is one of our most precious Freedoms. Our ability to buy advertising, trademark our brands and images and slogans, commission science and opinion polls, and to create public communications tools like this website guarantees our ability to shape the information space we call the internet. It allows us to talk about values, about being a good neighbor, and to focus public attention on comforting words and images when they need them most.

We invest a great deal of our corporate value in countering image erosion. Image erosion results from reports of alleged harm caused by our products, and those of our subsidiary Union Carbide. Over the years, our Freedom of Speech has allowed us to insulate our value chain from such unfortunate communications problems as Agent Orange, DDT, and the range of Union Carbide liabilities we inherited when we took over that entity -- including issues like asbestos and the lamentable deaths of 20,000 people in Bhopal.

To our knowledge, Verio did not shut, and will not be shutting down, any major corporate website with its closure of This is an important point. While we may regret that the "artists, activists" and others using have been evicted from the web, we firmly believe that those who violate the right to Corporate Free Speech have no place on a commercial network like the internet.

It's another example of our committment to Living. Improved Daily. With an internet shaped by Corporate Free Speech.

environment, health & safety