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POLITICS: Yahoo 'helped jail China writer'

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posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 08:00 AM
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Yahoo has been accused of supplying information that allowed Chinese officials to jail a journalist. Shi Tao was jailed for "divulging state secrets" after yahoo's Hon Kong division helped authorities identify his email account. The accusations have come from the group Reporters Without Borders. Tao was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

 



news.bbc.co.uk
Internet giant Yahoo has been accused of supplying information to China which led to the jailing of a journalist for "divulging state secrets".
Reporters Without Borders said Yahoo's Hong Kong arm helped China link Shi Tao's e-mail account and computer to a message containing the information.

The media watchdog accused Yahoo of becoming a "police informant" in order to further its business ambitions.

A Yahoo spokeswoman, Pauline Wong, said the company had no immediate comment.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Google, Microsoft, and now Yahoo are all guilty of aiding and abetting the communist authorities in China. I wonder if they have such a paradise why do they fear the written word? Why suppress freedom of expression, why hide the Avian Flu outbreak, or SARS?




posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 08:47 AM
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If a company or corporation does business in a country they have an obligation to obey the laws of that country, whether or not they agree with them. In the US the courts have determined that Internet service providers are obligated to provide information on the owner of an e-mail account if they are provided with court order. These laws are the same throughout the world. Last time that I checked China was a duly recognized country no matter what their stand on free speech or expression is. Failure to comply could result in the employees of the company being charged and extradited to face trial.



posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 12:20 PM
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Originally posted by JIMC5499
If a company or corporation does business in a country they have an obligation to obey the laws of that country, whether or not they agree with them. In the US the courts have determined that Internet service providers are obligated to provide information on the owner of an e-mail account if they are provided with court order. These laws are the same throughout the world. Last time that I checked China was a duly recognized country no matter what their stand on free speech or expression is. Failure to comply could result in the employees of the company being charged and extradited to face trial.


Exactly, I even wonder why this is being reported as news. You have to obey what ever country you happen to work or visits laws whether you agree with them or not.



The media watchdog accused Yahoo of becoming a "police informant" in order to further its business ambitions.


what the hell... I don't see how that could further there "business ambitions"

Vorta



posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 12:41 PM
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Originally posted by Vorta
what the hell... I don't see how that could further there "business ambitions"


It furthers their business ambitions on the simple basis of them being allowed to continue doing business in any region or country under the control of the Chinese Communist Party, regions which together constitute the largest market of computer and Internet users in the world. In Communist China, it's either play by the CCP's rules of information suppression and monitoring, or it's get out and don't come back. In exchange for a piece of that 1.3 billion computer user pie, providing information which will cause journalists who report the truth to spend the rest of their lives in Chinese prisons, and assisting with the CCP's suppression of freedom of speech, is small price to pay for the likes Yahoo and Microsoft.



posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 12:53 PM
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Originally posted by wecomeinpeace
It furthers their business ambitions on the simple basis of them being allowed to continue doing business in any region or country under the control of the Chinese Communist Party, regions which together constitute the largest market of computer and Internet users in the world. In Communist China, it's either play by the CCP's rules of information suppression and monitoring, or it's get out and don't come back. In exchange for a piece of that 1.3 billion computer user pie, providing information which will cause journalists who report the truth to spend the rest of their lives in Chinese prisons, and assisting with the CCP's suppression of freedom of speech, is small price to pay for the likes Yahoo and Microsoft.



What is the truth that this reporter is supposed to be spreading? I am not condoning the actions of China, one thing needs to be addressed here. A government, no matter how opressive cannot stay in power with out the consent of its people. I don't like the actions of the Chinese government and feel that there will eventually be a war with them, but I can't see how you can fault these companies for doing business in China. This is just another article of Socialist propaganda taking shots at big business.



posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 12:56 PM
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I wonder if there is ever a democratic revolution in China (and I hope there will be one someday) some of these companies will be thrown out for collaborating with the CCP....



posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 01:30 PM
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Originally posted by JIMC5499
A government, no matter how opressive cannot stay in power with out the consent of its people.

Well, the CCP's done a pretty good job of it for 56 years now. Actually a group of students and workers agreed with you until 1989. And dissent, the opposite of consent, can be suppressed and covered up when you control the military and all media. Besides, a half Japanese half American "Goldstein" combined with the allure of BMW's and Nikes keeps the more affluent of the chattel focused on other pursuits for now as well.


...but I can't see how you can fault these companies for doing business in China.


Doing business is one thing. Doing business at the expense of certain inalienable human rights is another. I wonder if your sentiments would be the same were these companies spewing millions of litres of toxic waste into the Chinese waterways.


This is just another article of Socialist propaganda taking shots at big business.




What is the truth that this reporter is supposed to be spreading?


I would discuss that with you if I could, but being in China, I can't view the BBC website since it is blocked courtesy of your friendly neighborhood CCP. The bigwigs in Zhong Nan Hai can't imprison or execute the BBC nor other journalists outside of China, but they can stop them from telling the truth to the Chinese people as they see fit.
If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say that it's the usual SOP charge of "passing information to foreigners" regarding CCP activities in regards to human rights or the lack thereof.


You have the right to remain silent; Journalistic freedom in China
China watchers will not be surprised at the news that China has topped the 2004 list of countries imprisoning reporters, maintaining the top ranking for the sixth consecutive year, despite claims that it has opened up the press.
...
World wide, the majority of journalists imprisoned have been accused insulting or defaming government officials, inciting public unrest, and spreading ‘false’ news, most of which are cover terms used against journalists who publish unfavorable stories about politicians or government dealings, or who speak out against state corruption and poverty.
...
The issue of journalistic freedom was touched on during and after the handover of Hong Kong to the mainland, when it was feared that self censorship and controversial ‘anti subversion laws’ would put reporters in a difficult position when publishing unfavorable stories about mainland China, and dramatically brought into the world spotlight in 2004 with the detention of Zhao Yan, a New York times journalist and farmers rights activist, who was taken into custody on suspicion of “illegally providing state secrets to foreigners”. His detention is believed to be in connection to news article predicting the resignation of a senior Chinese official.



posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 01:32 PM
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The information he got into trouble for posting was regarding the anniversary of Tianemman Square. The Chinese media was barred from marking the event, because of concerns over civil disturbances. There was a media crackdown right before the anniversary and authorities were asked to keep a good eye on dissidents.

And Yahoo Hong Kong Holding Co. is not required to supply IP address by law. It is merely customary to do so. In my mind, this makes Yahoo almost as bad as the CCP. Money before lives... *sigh*



Forbes.com

Shi posted on the Internet a government order barring Chinese media from marking the 15th anniversary last year of the brutal 1989 crackdown on democracy activists at Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

Yahoo Hong Kong provided Chinese investigators with detailed information that apparently enabled them to link Shi's personal e-mail account and the specific message he sent to the IP address of his computer, the group said.



posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 01:40 PM
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Originally posted by wecomeinpeace

Doing business is one thing. Doing business at the expense of certain inalienable human rights is another. I wonder if your sentiments would be the same were these companies spewing millions of litres of toxic waste into the Chinese waterways.


My sentiments would not be the same, because the company itself would be violating the law instead of providing information on someone who is. While I don't agree with the supression of information by China, I do agree with a company being obligated to follow the laws of the countries in which they do business. I am going to get a chance to find out for my self next spring when I spend a few weeks in Shanghi on business.


I would discuss that with you if I could, but being in China, I can't view the BBC website since it is blocked courtesy of your friendly neighborhood CCP. The bigwigs in Zhong Nan Hai can't imprison or execute the BBC nor other journalists outside of China, but they can stop them from telling the truth to the Chinese people as they see fit.
If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say that it's the usual SOP charge of "passing information to foreigners" regarding CCP activities in regards to human rights or the lack thereof.



I hope that they don't decide that this post is in the same context as Zhong Nan Hai's and lock you up.



posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 01:41 PM
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Originally posted by Duzey
The information he got into trouble for posting was regarding the anniversary of Tianemman Square. The Chinese media was barred from marking the event, because of concerns over civil disturbances. There was a media crackdown right before the anniversary and authorities were asked to keep a good eye on dissidents.


I was right. Do I get a cookie?



posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 01:49 PM
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Common sense alert!

Basically the Chinese pulled off getting the infornments name.

The Ameriacn Government didn't [the spy, C.I.A. whatever one [you know]].

Chinese bad, Chinese pulled it off.
Bad Chinese!

Bad, bad chinese!



posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 01:54 PM
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Originally posted by JIMC5499
My sentiments would not be the same, because the company itself would be violating the law instead of providing information on someone who is.


From Duzey's linked article (thx Duzey
)
:

In 2002, Yahoo voluntarily signed the 'Public Pledge on Self-Discipline for the China Internet Industry,' agreeing to abide by Chinese censorship regulations.
...
While Hong Kong law does not specify companies' responsibility, the rights group said it is reportedly customary for email service and Internet access providers to give information to the police when shown a court order.

As can be seen here, the company has made a voluntary decision to provide information on "dissidents" and to bow to the CCP's speech suppressing wishes, in exchange for their piece of that big, fat China market. These Chinese citizen's freedom is sacrificed at the altar of the almighty $.


I am going to get a chance to find out for my self next spring when I spend a few weeks in Shanghi on business.


Well, let's hope you don't assist to put any of the locals in jail.



posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 02:32 PM
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It is astounding to me that the first commenters here actually stick up for Yahoo! and the right of the corporation to sacrifice a human person's liberty in the name of the pursuit of profit. As it happens, the company was not required to divulge additional information regarding the reporter's identity, but the size of the market and the amount of profit appears to be the overriding consideration. And the "state secret" he divulged? That the anniversary of Tianemman Square was upon us?

So now this human being is sitting in a Chinese prison for the next ten years--for writing about a historical event that affected people worldwide. And this is called understandable due to the market situation for Yahoo! and the need to cooperate with the authorities of the locality with which you would like to do business.

Excuse me, but I am going to be sick.



posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 03:08 PM
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without_prejudice, the Chinese Government did it for a wise reason [the ban]. It was in their best interests and that of the people [who normally would be in the area] for no large scale events to go on. Especailly if they turned into a riot.

The guy who wrote the article knew this and knew he was breaking the law. He could have in fact waited till the ban was lifted to publish his article about it or done it prior to the ban being put in place but didn't.



posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 04:31 PM
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Originally posted by wecomeinpeace
As can be seen here, the company has made a voluntary decision to provide information on "dissidents" and to bow to the CCP's speech suppressing wishes, in exchange for their piece of that big, fat China market. These Chinese citizen's freedom is sacrificed at the altar of the almighty $.

Well, let's hope you don't assist to put any of the locals in jail.


If you don't like the fact that Yahoo voluntarily complies with the requests of governments of countries in which it does business there is a real easy way to prevent them from doing it. All you have to do is to write a letter to Yahoo and all of the compaines that advertise with them stating that you refuse to do business with them as long as they are complying with the requests of the Chinese government. Then get all of your friends and as many people who think the same way to do the same thing. If they are as concerned with the "all mighty dollar" as you think they are then they will stop.

One other question. If the information that Yahoo provided the Chinese Government helped to apprehend a terrorist or murderer, would you still feel the same? Last one. Did Yahoo know why the Chinese wanted the information before they gave it to them?

As for my putting the locals in jail, if I am asked for information by the authorities, no matter where I am at, I am going to cooperate fully.



posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 04:46 PM
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Does it surprise anyone here that companies and gov'ts are evil?

They're run by people, that ought to tell you something !

'They smile in your face...'



posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 04:53 PM
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I would have no problem with Yahoo complying with laws that don't end up with people being tortured and starved.

I would have no problem with Yahoo complying with laws that don't have the end result of contravening basic human rights.

But then again, I am an idealist and don't think that profits should come before people. I believe that everyone is entitled to basic human rights, the CCP doesn't.



posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 05:03 PM
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Originally posted by JIMC5499
If you don't like the fact that Yahoo voluntarily complies with the requests of governments of countries in which it does business there is a real easy way to prevent them from doing it. All you have to do is to write a letter to Yahoo and all of the compaines that advertise with them stating that you refuse to do business with them as long as they are complying with the requests of the Chinese government...

Uhh, yeah, I'm sure that will work...


One other question. If the information that Yahoo provided the Chinese Government helped to apprehend a terrorist or murderer, would you still feel the same? Last one. Did Yahoo know why the Chinese wanted the information before they gave it to them?

Do you honestly think that Yahoo is naive enough to not know what the Chinese government's human rights and suppression of freedom of speech record is, and why they would be requesting the IPs of Chinese citizens? Do you know why Murdoch dropped the South China Morning Post like a hot potato when the CCP took Hong Kong back? Do you honestly think that Microsoft, when they agreed to install tech on their Chinese websites to filter and monitor "subversive ideals", thought that it was to catch "murderers"? These companies know what kind of government they are dealing with, probably better than you and I afte their market and legal research, but they care not because profit is profit. Don't think I don't understand it and the reasoning behind it, I just don't personally endorse it.


As for my putting the locals in jail, if I am asked for information by the authorities, no matter where I am at, I am going to cooperate fully.

My apologies, my comment was a little out of line. But I guess you and I can agree to differ here. If I was a foreigner doing business in China and one of the prerequisites was that I had to agree to assist in the suppression of free speech and the persecution and imprisonment of journalists who reveal the truth, however indirectly, I would turn around and go back home. But that's just me...

[edit on 2005-9-7 by wecomeinpeace]



posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 05:05 PM
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The Chinese Government is going to be there whether Yahoo does business in China or not. Your arguement about the CCP is perfectly valid, but why blame Yahoo? The only way to remove the CCP is going to be through the Chinese people. They only way that is going to happen is by them learning about the horse manure that their government is shoveling them. The way that they are going to learn about that is by communication with the outside world. Yahoo is helping to provide that communication as are the rest of the businesses that are moving into the Chinese market. The CCP's only way to remain in power is to keep China a closed society. The influx of technology and ideas from the rest of the world is going to be the first chink in the armour of the CCP.



posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 05:11 PM
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Originally posted by JIMC5499
The CCP's only way to remain in power is to keep China a closed society. The influx of technology and ideas from the rest of the world is going to be the first chink in the armour of the CCP.


Good point. This I can agree with.


However, I somehow doubt that Yahoo is looking at the situation as altruistically as yourself.

[edit on 2005-9-7 by wecomeinpeace]



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