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Yahoo Sued For Helping Chinese Jail Dissidents

From that bastion of freedom the Washington Post

Advocates Sue Yahoo In Chinese Torture Case

By Ariana Eunjung Cha and Sam Diaz
Thursday, April 19, 2007; D01

SHANGHAI, April 18 — A human rights group sued Yahoo on Wednesday, accusing the Internet giant of abetting the torture of pro-democracy writers by releasing data that allowed China’s government to identify them.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, says the company was complicit in the arrests of 57-year-old Wang Xiaoning and other Chinese Internet activists. The suit is the latest development in a campaign by advocacy groups to spotlight the conduct of U.S. companies in China…

The suit, in trying to hold Yahoo accountable, could become an important test case. Advocacy groups are seeking to use a 217-year-old U.S. law to punish corporations for human rights violations abroad, an effort the Bush administration has opposed.

In 2003, Wang began serving a 10-year sentence on charges that he incited subversion with online treatises criticizing the government. He is named as a plaintiff in the Yahoo suit, which was filed with help from the World Organization for Human Rights USA, based in Washington.

Yahoo is guilty of “an act of corporate irresponsibility,” said Morton Sklar, executive director of the group. “Yahoo had reason to know that if they provided China with identification information that those individuals would be arrested.”

Wang’s wife, Yu Ling, said her husband is imprisoned in a labor camp and has been subjected to beatings. In an interview in Washington, she said through an interpreter that American technology companies such as Yahoo should be held to a high standard in their overseas conduct. She said Yahoo gave the Chinese government personal information tied to e-mail accounts that Wang used to distribute his writings,

The suit says that in 2001, Wang was using a Yahoo e-mail account to post anonymous writings to an Internet mailing list. The suit alleges that Yahoo, under pressure from the Chinese government, blocked that account. Wang set up a new account via Yahoo and began sending material again; the suit alleges that Yahoo gave the government information that allowed it to identify and arrest Wang in September 2002. The suit says prosecutors in the Chinese courts cited Yahoo’s cooperation.

Jim Cullinan, a spokesman for Yahoo, of Sunnyvale, Calif., said he could not comment on the suit or the specifics of Wang’s case because he had not seen the papers Wednesday afternoon. But he said Yahoo condemns the suppression of speech.

Companies that do business in other countries have to follow the laws of that country or their employees could be subject to penalties, he said. In addition, governments are not required to tell a company why they want information.

“No company would know if it is for a legitimate criminal investigation, or if it’s a matter of public safety, or it’s being used to prosecute political dissidents,” Cullinan said…

Hey, Yahoo is just trying to make a buck.

So what if some people get sent to labor camps.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, April 21st, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Yahoo Sued For Helping Chinese Jail Dissidents”

  1. andylovegreens says:

    Dear Sir,

    Thank you for taking the time to read my letter.

    I am a young man from China. I am 26 years old.

    I hate the Communist Party of China, where my, where there is no justice.

    They blocked the press. There are no media, only publicity in China. They fool people. Here we cannot see the truth.

    And government officials who have connivances to persecute the people, because they can manipulate the legal.

    In 2001 they killed my brother, only because of my brother did not get temporary residence permits.

    They expeled me from the university in 2003, because I sympathize with Falun Gong, because I hate corruption.

    The plant where I worked let us eat rotten food, we work 16 hours every day, we receive no compensation but will continue to work when work-related injuries happened. However, the government has turned a blind eye to those.

    I want to get away from China, and looking for someone help me.

    Your sincerely,

    Liu Liang(Andy)

    Tel: 0086 155 7510 7380
    Add: Yong hong Game Studio, D-26 Building Quantang Community, Xingsha town, Chansha, China

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