Friday, February 10, 2006

Boo to you Yahoo

The reports that Yahoo may have supplied information to Chinese authorities that led to the arrest of a dissident journalist shows a disjunct between legality and morality among that is utterly reprehensible. A company that flourished due to the freedom of the USA is willing to actively participate in repression.
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Reporters Without Borders claims that Mr Li Zhi received an eight year prison sentence for attempting to join a banned political party and Yahoo China gave the government details of his online registration. Yahoo is to look into this, as it is to appear before the US Congress to discuss its policies in relation to human rights in China.
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Of course it is well known that Google has a censored version of its search engine for the Chinese market, but Google at least has kept its email server outside China. Microsoft also has shut down an anti-government blog in China.
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The companies concerned don't want the Chinese market to be taken by someone else, by ignoring it they claim they are not helping Chinese freedom (the internet is probably on balance a liberator even when it is partially censored, than not) and that it will simply mean others will enter and take market share.
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However it is one thing to operate within the laws of a country in how you provide a service - another to gather information and supply it so that country's government can oppress its citizens. Yahoo may have blood on its hands - for shame!.
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Note if you search yahoo China for tiananmen massacre, you get nothing. If you search for BBC news or Voice of America, you get sites that have nothing to do with it. Back to shortwave radios in China then is it?

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