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Yahoo makes deal with Chinese journalists

Yahoo settled a lawsuit on Tuesday with two Chinese journalists who had been jailed after the company provided the Chinese authorities with information about their online activities. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The two journalists and a relative sued the company this year after Yahoo HK, a subsidiary based in Hong Kong, gave the Chinese authorities e-mail messages containing pro-democracy literature. The jailed journalists alleged in the lawsuit that jailers had tortured them and that Yahoo was responsible. The company has denied any responsibility and maintained it had been complying with Chinese law when it turned over the e-mail.

The case has raised questions about whether Internet companies should cooperate with governments that deny freedom of speech and frequently crack down on journalists. It also has been the subject of Congressional hearings, in which lawmakers accused the company of collaborating with an oppressive communist regime. Neither side disclosed terms of the settlement other than to agree that Yahoo would pay the lawyers’ fees of the two journalists — Shi Tao and Wang Xiaoning — and the relative who sued. The whole thing makes me a bit sad – when we can’t really do anything about China, one would expect a warmer approach from internet giant as Yahoo…

Source: NYTimes, MSNBC

Comments

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  1. z_axis
    November 14th, 2007 | 13:45

    its a sad state, its all coming too.

  2. Samuel Sung
    November 14th, 2007 | 13:51

    Bless the lord they did not make a deal with Chinese Journalists!

  3. tester
    November 14th, 2007 | 13:52

    jurnalists ??

  4. The Original Geek
    November 14th, 2007 | 14:14

    Not trying to be a d**ick Martin, but I think you should have a native english speaker/writer proof read your stuff before posting. This includes the title.

  5. yep
    November 14th, 2007 | 14:28

    me spul gud

  6. Gotbannedcosofname
    November 14th, 2007 | 14:31

    Who’s says that capitalism isn’t intrinsically nazi based politics..

    This is what happens when companies have no agenda other than protecting their money.. Amerika, are you getting this?

  7. Jixx
    November 14th, 2007 | 15:06

    @tester: hrs passes away…the spelling is still crap.
    total quality management ;) DIN!

  8. TX
    November 14th, 2007 | 15:18

    “jurnalists” oh dear journalists

    and why is every page going to the bottom rather than the top?

  9. Qred
    November 14th, 2007 | 15:57

    Dear god, the tittle is missing on entire letter!

    We need ahole protection, not just spam…

  10. mike
    November 14th, 2007 | 15:58

    Evil corporations, Evil america deserves whatever punishment they get

  11. buckfush
    November 14th, 2007 | 16:19

    this is the “funniest” :( line in all of these article “…one would expect a warmer approach from internet giant as Yahoo…”

    WARMER approach?!!? WTF is WARM about BIG MONEY and corporate entities? one can and will get only cold shrugs and F**K you from THEM especially if there is big money involved – and China IS big money.

    do not understand me wrong. i am pissed of and sad about this state of affairs and it makes me wonder and scared WHEN such disclosures WILL be imposed in our more and more controlled societies in the west (UK, USA,…)

  12. lucas
    November 14th, 2007 | 16:32

    thought its illegal to give out details?
    yahoo [prob paid thm off millions

  13. a3dz
    November 14th, 2007 | 16:46

    yes big global company’s are famous for their warm approach against journalists.

  14. Cr4sh
    November 14th, 2007 | 17:28

    You expect a company like yahoo to follow your country’s rules, well if in China, they would have to follow China’s rules aswell.

    Not that i particularly want to take any big corp’s side, but i expect they did what they had to do by law, after that being done, maybe the best thing they could do to help these people is to give them a bit of money after the fact.

    In this particular case, i’d have to think Yahoo DID do something “warm”.

  15. Clinton for President
    November 14th, 2007 | 17:44

    sure, money can compensate the life long surveillance and beat up in a communist jail.

    fight the communist regimes, and free Tibet! ;)

    you can have your voice though. boycott everything you can and coming from china. there will be one sad day in the future, when even food will come from that country.

    tell your senator to boycott the communist Olympic games, that’s even put the lenin games from 1980 to shame.

  16. mikemmx
    November 14th, 2007 | 17:51

    honestly guyies a littal missted spelin isnt tha N of tha world.

  17. Panda
    November 14th, 2007 | 20:38

    The reason this is terrifying is simply this:

    1. The US is supposed to be the bastion of freedom, democracy and apple pie. Yet, under our wonderful system of Capitalism, companies (whether Yahoo or Halliburton) can be remorseless, socially irresponsible, and often plain immoral.

    2. China isn’t a democracy. Not surprising they love capitalism now, because the US has proven it lets you get away with murder.

    Thanks guys.

  18. Darth Arcon
    November 14th, 2007 | 20:38

    Meh…If it wasnt for all the whiny hippies and Democrats, we may not be in this mess right now…

    I dont care what the laws are in China, freedom of privacy is a global idea. If everybody complied with pushy, idiotic governments, we (US) would still be British…(no offense, British people are actually pretty cool…)…

    Not that I actually use Yahoo anymore, but you can be dam sure you wont see anything from me on their servers…Screw that, I wont even email people with Yahoo addresses anymore…

  19. Panda
    November 14th, 2007 | 20:40

    Forgot the most important thing:

    3. Capitalism is also the most effective way of imposing your politics onto other countries. China knows that too.

  20. Nukem
    November 14th, 2007 | 20:43

    The ONLY reason Yahoo doesn’t want it to go to court is BAD PRESS.

    If this issue went to court, it would be in the papers and mags for years. Bad for business.

    Now it will just blow over and be forgotten in another few months. No more news is good news.

  21. america is pro-communist
    November 14th, 2007 | 22:08

    The cooporation of Yahoo and Google with the Chinese government in spying on Pro-Democracy Chinese civilians is not a new issue. PBS aired a documentary a while back, probably one of their first on the rise of China- in which the accusations went so far as to hold an investigative congressional hearing against the companies back in the U.S. The show focused on journalists and civilians exchanging information on things such as human/civil rights. They surf around the net and meet people like us ‘free’ folks, creating relationships to understand what they as civilians of a communist regime, are truly missing out on.

    Yahooo and Google themselves don’t actually inform the government when chinese civilians access information on democracy and human/civil rights. It’s what they program the programs to do that allows the chinese government to quickly catch the ‘insurgents’. The programs single out these ‘pro-democracy journalists/criminals and send the information to government agencies who then use the info to arrest such civilians.

    I can barely remember the exact details of the documentary but you can tell the U.S. government told PBS to take it off the air as it has never been aired again ever since. The U.S. has reason to do this. As it was commented before, there’s alot of money to made by exploiting the chinese, both their government and their cents/per day labor.

    Just two days ago I took my Google search engine off my browser. My girl asked me why I had done that, and I reminded her of the documentary that I had seen.

    I did not seek out to install the search engine. It was bundled up in some other program I had installed and snucked its way onto my browser without me realizing it until it was too late.

    American authorities have been studying China very closely. They don’t see the communist state as a failed stated anymore. They’ve come to appreciate what the chinese government has done to its people. China is the blueprint for future governments, yours and mine.

  22. Monkee Buoy
    November 14th, 2007 | 22:14

    Bad spelling is practically traditional across the internet so Martin’s only doing his bit by not using a spell checker. And I’m willing to bet a good number of us native English speakers would be bloody terrible if we tried to write anything in a foreign language so lets all pipe down a bit on the typo front please.

  23. Mao
    November 15th, 2007 | 01:30

    Yahoo was NOT only turning over freedom and liberty for profits, but their method of doing so was illegal. That why the U.S. House of Foreign Affairs Committee had opened up an investigation…

    The chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee is summoning Yahoo Chief Executive Jerry Yang to Washington to talk about “how the Internet company gave false information to Congress about its role in a human rights case in China that sent a journalist to jail for a decade,” according to a release from the committee chairman’s office.

    Chairman Tom Lantos has asked Yang and Yahoo General Counsel Michael Callahan to appear at a hearing on November 6.

    “Our committee has established that Yahoo provided false information to Congress in early 2006,” Lantos said in the statement.

  24. Anke
    November 15th, 2007 | 01:32

    What is even more disgraceful is that for financial gains, a few overseas countries and corporations investing in China have sold their souls by exchanging human rights for business opportunities in China.

  25. Darth Arcon
    November 15th, 2007 | 04:50

    Your all missing the point. I do NOT in any way condone what Yahoo has done, but Ill be dammed before I let people think they did it “just” for money. Yes, money was probably one of the reasons, but I can bet you that the biggest reason was politics. Nobody wants to be on the bad side of a large country…especially one with a lot of people taking residence there.

    Lets take the “big, evil corporations” out of the mix for a minute and say that YOU personally are doing something that China didnt want, and your doing it rather publicly. If the
    Chinese government itself came to your front door and demanded you cease and desist…what would you do? Even though you are protected by residing in a country that says what you did was legal, could you honestly say that you would gladly make enemies with an ENTIRE country by saying no?!

    As for all you stupid communists saying capitalism is evil…go vote for Hilary Clinton and jack off to a picture of Karl Marx…Just keep your stupidity somewhere else, hmm? If capitalism is so freakin bad, wtf is the US doing as one of the wealthiest nations on Earth? And before you start your “US is the devil” comments, lets see who else is on that list…Japan (capitalism), UK (capitalism), Switzerland (capitalism), Norway (partial capitalism)…Oh yeah, the big bad evil corporations are robbing us of our money! Hmm, they are also helping us maintain our way of life…Guess what else? Those big bad corporations are maintained by people just like you who thought of risking a portion of thier wealth in the hope that it would pay back, as well as the possibility of it not paying back…They have the freedom to try and gain a profit for going through the risk of investment…So yeah, go ahead and bash capitalism all you want, your only going to make yourself look like an idiot…

    Anybody else?

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