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Jailed Chinese Reporter Joins Yahoo! Suit

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the keep-your-friends-close dept.

The Courts 103

taoman1 writes "The Associated Press reports that Shi Tao, who was sentenced in 2005 to 10 years in prison, is now seeking compensation from Yahoo. He claims the Hong Kong and Chinese branches of the company provided information to the Chinese authorities that led to his arrest. 'Shi, a former writer for the financial publication Contemporary Business News, was jailed for allegedly providing state secrets to foreigners. His conviction stemmed from an e-mail he sent containing his notes on a government circular that spelled out restrictions on the media. Yahoo has acknowledged turning over data on Shi at the request of the Chinese government, saying company employees face civil and criminal sanctions if they ignore local laws. It denies Yahoo Hong Kong was involved.'"

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103 comments

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tell me (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19463609)

do you sit here at slashdot all day and night, with no life, no girlfriend, no job, jerking off, clicking that refresh button every second just to see if you can get a first post to show goatse? you must really get some extreme personal gratitude for yourself with every first post..

Re:tell me (0, Offtopic)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 7 years ago | (#19463831)

Actually I heard there were scripts to get the first post, and that it's how some first post trolls like goatse or GNAA trolls do it.

Re:tell me (1)

utopianfiat (774016) | more than 7 years ago | (#19468211)

the op is copypasta. go look in my history for the goatse first post...

When in China... (2, Insightful)

Plekto (1018050) | more than 7 years ago | (#19468525)

Welcome to the reality. Our laws don't apply past our borders. So sorry. While it is morally wrong to do this, it's also perfectly legal in China. A similar example would be in the U.S. - there are laws for indecency and pandering and such(as well as certain drugs) that just don't apply in Amsterdam. You can get arrested and thrown in jail in the U.S. for what over there is considered not to really be an issue, legally.

Re:When in China... (1)

utopianfiat (774016) | more than 7 years ago | (#19485109)

Mod parent overrated. Fucking hell, slashdot. *completely unrelated thread*. This is about GOATSE, not the damn post!

Not to suggest ... (4, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 7 years ago | (#19463611)

... that China is right in their efforts to censor the Internet or stifle free speech, but did Yahoo! actually do anything legally wrong?

Re:Not to suggest ... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19463633)

When confronted with a dilemma such as this I repeat to myself my mantra "WWSWD". What Would Sam Waterston Do? And if it's find someway, anyway, to hang me out to dry, I use a tyvek suit and polyurethane gloves.

Re:Not to suggest ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19463939)

imploov yore enrish pwease

Re:Not to suggest ... (0, Troll)

trippeh (1097403) | more than 7 years ago | (#19464017)

Fragment: Consider revising

Re:Not to suggest ... (2, Informative)

Stormx2 (1003260) | more than 7 years ago | (#19463649)

From the article:

Shi's legal challenge, filed on May 29 in U.S. District Court, is part of a lawsuit filed earlier by the World Organization for Human Rights USA. The group is suing Yahoo Inc. and its subsidiary in Hong Kong. Also named is Alibaba.com Inc., a Yahoo partner that runs Yahoo China.
He's suing in a U.S. court. I'm fairly sure there are laws in the U.S. prohibiting companies governed by U.S. law from giving away confidential data (in this case the email) to countries where it is likely to get the person imprisoned.

It would certainly be illegal in the UK under the data protection act, I don't know much about U.S. law.

Re:Not to suggest ... (1)

Klanglor (704779) | more than 7 years ago | (#19463685)

Depending on how secret the information was... In English law high treason was punishable by being hanged, drawn and quartered (men) or burnt at the stake (women)... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treason [wikipedia.org]

But this isn't treason (2, Insightful)

BlackCobra43 (596714) | more than 7 years ago | (#19463847)

Treason is aiding or abetting an enemy of the country. I don't see how handing over records that prove one's culpability to China amounts to this...unless you're REALLY scared fo the Yellow Menace.

Re:But this isn't treason (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 7 years ago | (#19466927)

Well, you could ALMOST call it that heh. I mean ones biggest creditor tends to be seen as an adversary, no?

Re:Not to suggest ... (1)

ClaraBow (212734) | more than 7 years ago | (#19463793)

So he is suing in the U.S., but where was he when he sent the e-mail? And from a legal perspective, does physical location matter?

Re:Not to suggest ... (3, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19463957)

So he is suing in the U.S., but where was he when he sent the e-mail? And from a legal perspective, does physical location matter?


Yes. Location determines jurisdiction, even in cases involving the Internet, unfortunately, at least in the U.S. and probably in many other countries. Now, in the U.S., a court may choose to hear some cases that do not technically fall under its jurisdiction -- in which case it is up to one party of the suit to challenge the court's jurisdiction at the appellate level -- but, generally speaking most U.S. judges will look at a case and then decide not to hear it if the case does not fall under the court's jurisdiction.

Jurisdiction in the U.S. is decided based on the location where the event took place. There are some gray areas when it comes to the Internet. For instance, cases involving e-commerce disputes can really fall either to the jurisdiction where the buyer is located or to the jurisdiction where the seller is located, absent any agreement deciding jurisdiction of disputes at the time of purchase.

In cases involving the liability of e-mails or other electronic communication, jurisdiction can fall either at the sender's location or at the receiver's location.

Interstate and international communication and e-commerce almost always fall under the federal circuit courts and not at the state level.

Re:Not to suggest ... (1)

wykthorr (999067) | more than 7 years ago | (#19467977)

As far as I know the US has not equivalent to EU's data protection policy. In that case it's all in the hands of Yahoo's privacy policy. But I doubt Yahoo would suffer anything since the US has turned in a low end police state. Forcing websites to hand over user data [slashdot.org] on a regular basis. In any case a Hong Kong individual is a customer of yahoo China so he should have started a lawsuit in China(seriously doubt he would have won).

Re:Not to suggest ... (2, Insightful)

ubrgeek (679399) | more than 7 years ago | (#19463657)

I suppose it depends on the language of the EULA (Which I have zero desire to read.)

Is "morally" dead nowadays? (2, Interesting)

Flying pig (925874) | more than 7 years ago | (#19463807)

Yahoo on the face of it did something that was morally wrong. Law is not something that is fixed and unchanging, it evolves, and the Internet being so new, the laws affecting it are likely to be inadequate and out of date.

Laws arise because it becomes clear that something is morally or practically wrong. First, it is necessary to show that no existing law fits the bill; which means the courts have to investigate. Then legislators, under various forms of pressure, are supposed to legislate.

"Not doing anything legally wrong" is the argument of the crook throughout the ages when they've been caught doing something that offends a lot of people. At the moment BAe in the UK is arguing that redirecting large Saudi funds to a member of the ruling family as part of an arms deal is not legally wrong. The fact that the British government tried to suppress the police investigation suggests that My. Blair, at least, is not so sure.

So the answer to your question is, we don't know yet. It is for the courts to decide. And, if they decide it is legal, then it's up to the legislators of the US to decide whether now is the time to stand up for the Founding Fathers, or time to bury them a bit deeper.

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#19463855)

'Freedom' fanatics are putting spin on this. Yahoo didn't do something because it wasn't illegal and they wanted to do it. Yahoo turned over the information against their will because the law of that country required it. To do anything other than what they did -would- break a law and result in the consequences to individuals in the company, not just Yahoo itself.

In other words, NOT to have turned over this information would have been at least as 'morally reprehensible' as turning it over because individuals would suffer for it -and- they would be breaking the law.

Really, other than avoiding having the information in the first place, Yahoo had very little choice.

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (4, Insightful)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 7 years ago | (#19463921)

NOT to have turned over this information would have been at least as 'morally reprehensible' as turning it over because individuals would suffer for it -and- they would be breaking the law.
Bullshit. In no way is losing money is as morally reprehensible as being thrown in jail for trying to shed light on censorship. Nowhere near even close. And that's all that would happen to Yahoo, it would lose money because it wouldn't be able to operate under Chinese law and so therefore would have to pull out. However they chose to operate under Chinese law, and so therefore they should be held accountable for every morally reprehensible thing they do.

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (0, Troll)

trippeh (1097403) | more than 7 years ago | (#19463945)

Morally reprehensible from OUR moral code only, thanks. Who are we to say that OUR moral code is more valid than the Chinese government's moral code?

Also, what happens to the people who are working for Yahoo!China? Do they lose their jobs just so Yahoo! can be morally upright? Or the companies with advertising on the Yahoo!China pages/domains? Or the groups that it hosts? Are all of these people supposed to be punished because Yahoo! is conforming to one particular moral code, a code that conflicts with that of the country in which they are operating? This issue has too many facets to simply apply the "Jail is wrong, Communist China is wrong, Big Corporations are wrong" blanket.

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (4, Insightful)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 7 years ago | (#19464515)

Who are we to say that OUR moral code is more valid than the Chinese government's moral code?
That sounds like a great way to let anything happen. Genocide in a small african nation? Not our problem, perhaps their moral code is different. Trampling of civil liberties in Europe? Well we'd like to help, but perhaps the moral code of those Europeans are different so we just can't risk it.

Or we could accept that some things are morally repugnant and do everything in our power to stop those we can.

Also, what happens to the people who are working for Yahoo!China? Do they lose their jobs just so Yahoo! can be morally upright?
People always say how another search company will rise to replace Yahoo if it leaves, so these people aren't out of jobs, they'll just be hired by those we can't deter from operating in China.

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (1)

Afecks (899057) | more than 7 years ago | (#19466123)

I think it was put best as...

"Don't become so tolerant that you tolerate intolerance." -Bill Maher

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#19471149)

And that comes from a guy who thinks US bomber pilots are pussies while the terrorist blowing up innocent civilians on the street for nothing more then going about their daily lives are the "brave admirable people".

If I was you, I would question his idea of tolerance and intolerance. It might not be something you are as proud to associate with as you think.

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (1)

Afecks (899057) | more than 7 years ago | (#19472225)

You're stunningly full of shit.

You've obviously never seen "Victory Begins at Home" in which he says the middle east is "bringing up the rear" civilization-wise and that if "getting stoned" in your country is a bad thing you "need an enlightenment".

His point was, bomber pilots risk very little compared to suicide bombers. You can say what you want about suicide bombers, they're stupid, ignorant, evil, whatever, but they are definitely not cowards.

I love the reasoning behind calling terrorists cowards. "The people at war with us won't tell us where they're hiding or when they'll attack!". That's not brave, that's fucking stupid. Yes they're wrong because they resort to violence but being willing to fight for what you believe in doesn't make you a coward. It makes you evil but not a coward.

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#19472427)

I'm a bit confused here? Are you saying his comment wasn't bad because people should be stoned to death and that is an acceptable punishment because their civilization isn't as advanced as ours?

His point was, bomber pilots risk very little compared to suicide bombers. You can say what you want about suicide bombers, they're stupid, ignorant, evil, whatever, but they are definitely not cowards.
You mean the entire "Oh i'm a terrorist so I will start a war with a country and only attack innocent civilians who have no way of effecting the grievances and problems I am taking to the table" is admirable? I think I'm lost again. However this could be because I am sane.

I love the reasoning behind calling terrorists cowards. "The people at war with us won't tell us where they're hiding or when they'll attack!". That's not brave, that's fucking stupid. Yes they're wrong because they resort to violence but being willing to fight for what you believe in doesn't make you a coward. It makes you evil but not a coward.
Do you understand why the kamikazes wasn't considered a terrorist but actually called a kamikazes? It is because they attacked military targets on a war they were trying to win. They weren't going into the streets and killing their own civilian population because they had a problem with someone else. Where they are hiding isn't the problem. It is their attacking innocent people who have no chance of defense that is what makes them cowards. In Iraq, on a daily basis, these brave terrorist you are so fond of are killing people who are only trying to live. And they are doing so with an attempt to say "take that America, that will teach you". How fucking admirable is that? Hoe fucking stupid is that? I know, their thought is that they would never win if they went toe to toe with the American army. So instead they will kill a bunch of innocent women and children to show how brave they are. I bet you don't think they are so brave when they blow your mom up for going to a crowded shopping mall to buy you a birthday present. Well, maybe you will.

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (1)

Afecks (899057) | more than 7 years ago | (#19474793)

admirable

You're the only one saying "admirable". I said they are stupid and evil. I'm not sure how you can confuse the two.

Do you understand why the kamikazes wasn't considered a terrorist but actually called a kamikazes? It is because they attacked military targets on a war they were trying to win.

Nobody is questioning whether or not these people are terrorists. Your lack of reading comprehension frightens me.

Murder is wrong. Period. Trying to justify it by putting different values on soldiers and civilians lives and saying killing one is worse than the other is bullshit. If you're going to cross the line and kill someone then it doesn't matter how, where or when. It's all the same evil shit. Don't say killing people with bombs in Iraq isn't murder. They sure as hell didn't pose a threat so you can't call it self-defense.

Terrorists are stupid, unadmirable, near-sighted, smelly, evil murdering fuckheads but they are not cowards.

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#19475637)

You're the only one saying "admirable". I said they are stupid and evil. I'm not sure how you can confuse the two.
No, I asked you how admirable was that. It was in to the entire tone of your comment. "the bomber pilots risk little and suicide bombers risk a lot." Well, no they don't they are expecting to die. the only thing they are risking is not completing their mission. That doesn't seem like a whole lot to me. The bomber pilots are risking their live, their future mental health, their physical well being, they are risking a lot more then some brainwashed fuck who is already willing to die.

Do you understand that if you are intentionally going to kill yourself, you don't risk death? Death is the biggest risk of them all. Once you rule that out, there isn't much left to be risked that is on the same level.

Nobody is questioning whether or not these people are terrorists. Your lack of reading comprehension frightens me.
There is nothing wrong with My reading comprehension. I just don't agree with your assertions. And I think I am entirely justified in this disagreement. You said suicide bombers aren't cowards and they risk more then bomber pilots implying they are more brave. You said if you think getting stoned in a country is bad, you need enlightenment. As if it is OK to stone people. You can imply whatever the comment was supposed to mean but the fact is, it was said around the time a woman was stoned to death for cheating on her husband. She needs enlightenment huh..

Murder is wrong. Period. Trying to justify it by putting different values on soldiers and civilians lives and saying killing one is worse than the other is bullshit. If you're going to cross the line and kill someone then it doesn't matter how, where or when. It's all the same evil shit. Don't say killing people with bombs in Iraq isn't murder. They sure as hell didn't pose a threat so you can't call it self-defense.
NO, NO, NO.. You couldn't be more wrong if you set out to be. I will agree that murder is bad. But there are justified killings. If you have to kill someone to stop your own death by their hand, it is justified. If you have to kill someone to stop them from killing your wife, it is justified. Any killing in the direct protection of another's life is justified as long as those others are in the right.

In the same sense, there are differences in someone who attacks the entity responsible for their griefs and someone who attack innocent civilians who do nothing to cause it and have no connection to it. When you kill the terrorist to save the civilians, you are doing a service. when the terrorist are killing innocent people because they are afraid to take a more appropriate action, they are cowards who deserve what they get.

Terrorists are stupid, unadmirable, near-sighted, smelly, evil murdering fuckheads but they are not cowards.
I agree with you until the cowards part. You do realize you are saying that someone is brave because they tower over you and beat you up when their problem is really with your bigger brother who would kick their ass. I don't see anything non cowardly or brave about someone realizing the person they have a problem with would win a fight and deciding to fight you (who has done nothing to cause them to be angry) instead because you aren't able to defend yourself.

don't fool yourself. This is exactly what the terrorists are doing but instead of beating you up, they are killing random innocent civilians. And there is nothing brave about that!

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (1)

Afecks (899057) | more than 7 years ago | (#19479263)

Any killing in the direct protection of another's life is justified as long as those others are in the right.


So those people in Iraq, they posed an immediate threat to our lives how?

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#19483055)

What people in Iraq?

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (1)

Afecks (899057) | more than 7 years ago | (#19485509)

How about these [middle-east-online.com] people?

You can easily find more. [google.com]

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#19485621)

Yea, those were justified. Why?

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (1)

Afecks (899057) | more than 7 years ago | (#19491887)

You don't get to call what's justified killing and what's not.

They didn't pose an immediate threat to us. You can argue that shooting someone that's trying to stab you is self-defense. However, you can't let the guy run away then track him down at his house a month later and kill him and still call it self-defense.

I'm done talking to you fucking idiot troll. Thanks for making me feel better about myself though. No matter how bad things get I can always say "at least I'm not that idiot".

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (1)

KarmaMB84 (743001) | more than 7 years ago | (#19467219)

Perhaps the best idea would be to conform to the moral codes set forth by the United Nations which China is a part of. If a country doesn't like you abiding by laws and treaties set forth by the United Nations, you'd best not do business there or else find yourself in prison after aiding them in violating human rights since China's veto power on the security council doesn't mean jack in a western court.

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (1)

manifoldronin (827401) | more than 7 years ago | (#19467879)

Morally reprehensible from OUR moral code only, thanks. Who are we to say that OUR moral code is more valid than the Chinese government's moral code?
And who are you to say that the "Chinese government's moral code" is the same as the Chinese people's - if they were to have the freedom to choose?

And who are you to assume that the Chinese people would have some moral code so fundamentally different from "ours" that in that code lives aren't even respected?

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#19464725)

Did you even read what I wrote or the summary? We aren't talking about loss of profits for Yahoo (even though that would be a consequence), we are talking about employees of theirs going to JAIL under the same oppressive regime that is forcing them to hand over the info. This isn't '4 squares and cable' jail like the US has. This is 'enemy of the country' jail. The very same kind of jail the reporter was thrown in for violating the law in the first place.

How does Yahoo's violating the law help? It doesn't, it only changes who goes to jail immediately. In all likelihood, the 'protected' reporter will be caught as well, and nothing has been helped.

Get your head out of your ass. This isn't as simple as 'if we shout loud enough, the government has to understand.' They DO NOT CARE. They have gotten their ways for centuries and have the firepower to keep getting their way for a long time to come.

Pick your battles. Getting innocent people jailed or killed to save someone that knowing broke the law is NOT going to help.

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (2, Insightful)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 7 years ago | (#19464817)

we are talking about employees of theirs going to JAIL under the same oppressive regime that is forcing them to hand over the info.
Yahoo employees cannot go to jail for breaking Chinese law if they do not operate out of China. Its that simple. They choose to operate out of China, therefore they choose to do morally repugnant things.

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#19471227)

How many Yahoo employees operate in china? How many of them have families in china? I bet the answer isn't 0.

What happens when yahoo say we need to open a shop in china to better address the people pf china's needs. I will tell you what happens, they send a handful of people over who are fluent in the language and they hire and train others.

I wish people would get over this Our side is always right and be at minimum willing to look at the situation and consider something other then only what furthers their side of the argument. It is getting to be like having a one legged ass kicking contest with all the participants who already lost.

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 7 years ago | (#19474207)

So what you are saying is that your are morally correct to sacrifice the freedom of others in order to preserve your own and if you generate a profit well that's just an unintentional bonus.

When you live in a country with a significant measure of freedom, democracy, and free speech, what right does that give you to support taking those things from others or even denying them the opportunity to strive for it.

What, because they are foreigners, they don't count, or do you really honestly believe that corporations that are based in democratic countries have a moral precedence to profits, even when they achieve those profits by actively supporting oppressive regimes.

The corporation is a shell, in which people of low morals hide their greed, you honestly sit back and think about how readily those same individuals would deny you and your family there freedom, or even their lives if there was a profit in it.

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#19475753)

W. T. F. How the hell did you manage to put all those words in my mouth?

The people in Yahoo that made the decision not to give the information were -not- the people in that would have been going to jail for it, I'm sure. They probably weren't even -in- China.

How is it more 'moral' to sacrifice people you know to save people you don't?

And lastly, I wish the world were as black and white as you paint it. There is no 'support or do not support oppressive regimes' crap. We -could- abandon all those people in China and just pull Yahoo, Google, and every other company that has any -hope- of helping those people out. Or we could work with what we have and slowly change things for the better. You can't hold a gun to China's government's head and get them to change overnight. You have to keep applying safe amounts of pressure and eventually get them to see the light. This means that we will occasionally have to do distasteful things.

The only way to avoid 'supporting oppressive regimes' is to lock ourselves in a bubble and refuse to talk to -any other country.- It doesn't matter how enlightened they are, there will always be something about their government we don't agree with. It's not as if we are squeaky clean, either. In fact, I don't even need to mention our atrocities, as everyone already knows about them and -does nothing.- You are supporting an oppressive regime merely by living, no matter what country you are in.

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19465311)

> In other words, NOT to have turned over this information would have been at least as 'morally reprehensible' as turning it over because individuals would suffer for it -and- they would be breaking the law.

Very true. People often forget this about the Nazi collaborators. If the Nazi collaborators had not turned Jews over to be killed, the collaborators would have suffered. Therefore, as the above poster points out, the Nazi collaborators were doing their moral jobs, helping genocide simply being their duty at the time... :(

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (2, Interesting)

truckaxle (883149) | more than 7 years ago | (#19466795)

In other words, NOT to have turned over this information would have been at least as 'morally reprehensible' as turning it over because individuals would suffer for it -and- they would be breaking the law.
Just who would be suffering for it by not turning over this information? Laws are man made artifices that often go against higher ethical laws. In Nazi Germany it was against the law to hide Jews. In the US at one time it was not against the law to keep and abuse other humans. Today, in several ME countries it is against the law for women to drive or to openly defect from the state religion.

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#19467281)

RTFS.

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#19471085)

This entire story and story submission is spin. I mean are you surprised? I will give you an example,

was jailed for allegedly providing state secrets to foreigners.
There is no allegedly about it, the conviction says he did it.

If your upset that this is a mouth piece for people with an agenda, I suggest you look a little close at some of the other stories presented here. You will find this isn't the exception to the norm.

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (1)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 7 years ago | (#19463919)

So you want the US to make it illegal for any US company to have any legal presence outside the US? After all who knows what horrible laws those evil Europeans might force US companies to work under. After all maybe someone will be prosecuted for distributing violent movies to minors and heaven forbid someone encroach on god's given right for the youth to be exposed to violence in all forms. Granted the Europeans may have more cause for concern, after all the US has a death penalty and their companies may horror of horrors be forced to help the police in a murder case (where the suspect is likely to face the death penalty).

So yes, unless you advocate total isolationism there is no way to avoid a US company having to follow a law in a another country which we may find to some degree immoral. Actually since I find a number of US laws immoral I say we just go straight into anarchy or small hermit communities or better yet we all just kill ourselves (the dead after all can't help perform immoral acts).

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (3, Insightful)

speaker of the truth (1112181) | more than 7 years ago | (#19463933)

after all the US has a death penalty and their companies may horror of horrors be forced to help the police in a murder case (where the suspect is likely to face the death penalty).
Funny you should mention that as not all countries are willing to help us in murder cases. The example of Canada comes to mind.

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (2, Interesting)

trippeh (1097403) | more than 7 years ago | (#19463967)

The example of Canada comes to mind
What does Canada have to do with this? This isn't an American murder on Canadian soil, this isn't an extradition case. This is one man subverting a government he sees as unfit to govern, which is against the laws set by said government, him being found out due to the actions of a certain company, and the moral and social ramifications thereof. Where did Canada and the death penalty come into this?

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (2, Insightful)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 7 years ago | (#19464033)

They came from my previous post and apparently you can't read. Anyway.

Morals are not black and white nor can they be agreed upon by all, laws exist to set a line in the sand. You wish to set a line in the sand based on the morals of the people and so I mentioned cases where other countries go against US morals or vice-versa.

So what if a Canadian company was asked to provide emails for a police investigation into a serial murdered in a state with the death penalty?

Since to many Canadians the death penalty is immoral I take it would the company be justified in refusing? If the US had laws that force US companies to act such a way in China would it not be hypocritical to not let the Canadian company do likewise?

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (1)

KarmaMB84 (743001) | more than 7 years ago | (#19467069)

None of the offenses that get someone the death penalty in the US are classified as exercises of basic human rights as set forth by the Unite Nations.

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#19471339)

WTF does the UN have to do with this now. the guy made a scenario up and asked for comment. Instead of comment it is being taken to new levels by other people.

The UN has nothing to do with the question asked, so why are you replying but attempting to avoid the question by talking about yet another unrelated entity?

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#19471277)

If a Canadian citizen running a company inside the US refuses to help in a murder investigation inside the US, he will be in jail too.

It is funny he mentioned it but it is even funny how you took it from the context.

You didn't read my post (1)

Flying pig (925874) | more than 7 years ago | (#19464019)

I didn't say I wanted any such thing. I said it was up to the courts to decide whether or not an offence had been committed, and, if not, whether legislators might decide to legislate for the future. Your rant has absolutely nothing to do with my post.

BTW, I believe it is illegal for US companies to trade with Cuba, for reasons supposedly associated with human rights violations. This shows that the US has in the past created laws directed against cooperation with another, specified government. So, not only is your rant off-topic, but you appear ignorant of your own country's legislation. Unless you are, in fact, a Chinese sock puppet.

Re:You didn't read my post (2, Insightful)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 7 years ago | (#19464101)

I didn't say I wanted any such thing. I said it was up to the courts to decide whether or not an offence had been committed, and, if not, whether legislators might decide to legislate for the future. Your rant has absolutely nothing to do with my post.
Sure it does, its about the legislation of morality which is something you mentioned. Not the fake sort of legislation that would pass, not the half assed one that is the limit of US voter attention spans but true moral legislation applied to US corporate behavior.

This shows that the US has in the past created laws directed against cooperation with another, specified government.
Yet US companies deal with lots of other not so nice countries. Nor is the law that they can't do X in cuba but rather that they can't do anything in cuba period. That's my point, isolationism is the only method to ensure this and since all countries have differing laws (that encroach on each others morals in one way or another) only total isolationism is a solution.

Unless you are, in fact, a Chinese sock puppet.
Fucking kick ass, yet another one to add to my list of "things I have been called." I wonder if this balances that capitalist pig item.

I do so love the assumptions people make when I talk from a rational and logical point of view (to me at least), apparently we're all expected to blind never changing zealots that keep to some invisible personal party line.

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#19464797)

Interesting argument. But there is a line between right and wrong. I often find that China crosses that line. I have less problem with Yahoo than I do Google. Google has this ideal of not being evil yet they do business in China. Maybe we all should look at some of our own choices. Every IPod pumps more money into China as do most trips to Harbor Freight , Walmart, and many other stores.

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (1)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 7 years ago | (#19465369)

But there is a line between right and wrong.
Yes, there is a line but everyone's line is in a different location. Whose right and wrong do we enforce? I mean just look at the US? We have a massive war on drugs (o god, save me from the evil weed), more people in jail than any developed nation (by rate), the death penalty, don't ban hate speech, allow abortions and don't ban contraceptives. To many people those would fall quite heavily on the "wrong" side of the line, some would consider death preferably to letting someone commit some of these actions (see Africa, Roman Catholic Church, contraceptives and AIDS).

I often find that China crosses that line. I have less problem with Yahoo than I do Google. Google has this ideal of not being evil yet they do business in China. Maybe we all should look at some of our own choices. Every IPod pumps more money into China as do most trips to Harbor Freight , Walmart, and many other stores.
Yet if we didn't send money to China their economy would start to collapse, the government would have problems keeping control, a much more strong handed approach would be put into place and all their progress so far would be removed. China is despite everything slowly moving towards a more democratic or at least capitalistic and free system. We can't expect them to move with lightning speed as that'd have too high a chance of blowing up in their faces for any sane politician to undertake (see soviet union).

Re:Is "morally" dead nowadays? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#19467039)

I do believe that there is an absolute right and wrong. I know I don't know what it is but I do believe that it exists.

Yes the US does allow free political speech even if it is ugly because we believe that political free speech needs to be protected. The US doesn't allow free and unfettered access to violent content. We have ratings on movies and video games. Frankly there are people in the US that think that this already goes too far.

"China is despite everything slowly moving towards a more democratic or at least capitalistic and free system. We can't expect them to move with lightning speed as they'd have too high a chance of blowing up in their faces for any sane politician to undertake (see soviet union)."
Here is where I do disagree with you.
I do not see Democratic and capitalist as being equal. I am not a big fan of pure socialism but there are countries that are largely socialist and have a good amount of freedom. Norway, Sweden, and some other European nations are socialist to one degree or another and are very free. I think the key to this is that anyone that doesn't like their systems is free to leave. I would rather see a free democratic socialist China than a totalitarian capitalist dictatorship.
One of the big mistakes the US made during the cold war years was thinking that Socialism wold always lead to Communism.

Just my opinion.

Re:Not to suggest ... (1)

rlp (11898) | more than 7 years ago | (#19463809)

but did Yahoo! actually do anything legally wrong?

Nope, just morally reprehensible.

Re:Not to suggest ... (1)

snero3 (610114) | more than 7 years ago | (#19463827)

I agree with you, not to condone what China did and is doing, but legally Yahoo! did nothing wrong. Basically the guy didn't read his EULA. Unless you have it in writing don't assume your information is safe.

I think pretty much every free email company (included ISPs) will hand over your email data when officially requested.

Re:Not to suggest ... (5, Informative)

jellie (949898) | more than 7 years ago | (#19463905)

The article lacks detail regarding the actual claims and which lawsuit it is, considering that there are probably many lawsuits against China by dissidents who have been oppressed or punished by the country. Here's an article [washingtonpost.com] from the Washington Post, dated two months ago, that said Wang Xiaoning filed a lawsuit against Yahoo! (I'm guessing this is the same suit). They argue that by giving up their information, Yahoo! is supporting torture (I believe), a violation of the Alien Tort Statute [wikipedia.org] . My guess is that this Shi Tao is being added as a plaintiff to this lawsuit. From the article:

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... Yahoo is guilty of "an act of corporate irresponsibility," said Morton Sklar, executive director of [World Organization for Human Rights USA]. "Yahoo had reason to know that if they provided China with identification information that those individuals would be arrested."
If that's true (which will need to be debated in court), then yes, Yahoo! did do something legally wrong.

Re:Not to suggest ... (1)

Quixote (154172) | more than 7 years ago | (#19464883)

"Yahoo had reason to know that if they provided China with identification information that those individuals would be arrested."

Wait... does that mean corporations can provide information only when they know somebody won't be arrested?

I find this whole lawsuit ridiculous (and I am a liberal, opposed to the repression wrought by the PRC regime). Yahoo responded to a subpoena (or the Chinese equivalent of it). This is no different than the subpoena response that 1000s of businesses in the US do. There was no way for Yahoo to know what the alleged crime was! Just like the FBI and other LEOs in the US do not tell the businesses what the alleged crime is.

Example: there have been 124 exonerations of death-row inmates in the US. Does that mean that businesses should now not respond to subpoenas if they know that the alleged crime is murder? Would the lawmakers in the US let businesses flout subpoenas with impunity if the business owner didn't believe in the death penalty?

Re:Not to suggest ... (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#19465085)

I'm not so sure it is so clear-cut. Yahoo has employees in China, and those employees might be subject to prosecution because they didn't follow Chinese law with respect to investigations.

Re:Not to suggest ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19464511)

... that China is right in their efforts to censor the Internet or stifle free speech, but did Yahoo! actually do anything legally wrong?

No, but the legality isn't in question. If my car's brakes fail and I hit yours, my representative (the insurance company) will pay you, even though I personally broke no laws.

The bigger thing is that Yahoo did something MORALLY wrong. Its President, Board, and yes, all its stockholders are responsible for putyting this man in jail. If you own a single share of stock in a company*, then you're the one whose head its abominations are on.

That includes Google, my fellow nerds. Their motto is a lie, they DO evil, the same evil as Yahoo. You have to abide by a country's laws if you do business in that country, but you don't have to obey its laws if you don't do business there.

If a corporation has no morals, that means its stockholders have no morals either.

-mcgrew

*This of course only applies to stocks you knowingly own; E.g., if you have no say in what stocks are in your pension fund, then how can you be culpable for what those companies do?

Re:Not to suggest ... (1)

56ker (566853) | more than 7 years ago | (#19464645)

Whether it was legally wrong or not doesn't matter. If people perceive it as ethically wrong or morally wrong a blaze of publicity about it in the press will hurt Yahoo's reputation (and probably stock price) - hopefully making Yahoo learn a valuable lesson.

Re:Not to suggest ... (1)

xENoLocO (773565) | more than 7 years ago | (#19464679)

Unfortunately, Yahoo did not do anything legally wrong. They have to comply with the laws of a country in order to do business there.

Re:Not to suggest ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19465167)

Sure because when Google have too much of your data they're evil.

When Yahoo use the data they collect on you to suppress free speech and put someone in jail for 10 years its not their fault.

Reap what you sow (2, Interesting)

BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) | more than 7 years ago | (#19465387)

> ... that China is right in their efforts to censor the Internet or stifle free speech, but did Yahoo! actually do anything legally wrong?

IBM didn't do anything wrong when they sold their Jew, Gay and Gypsy tracking services to the Nazis. Yes: Really! They even had IBM Customer Service Engineers on site at Concentration Camps running the tabulation equipment. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/03/27/print/ma in504730.shtml [cbsnews.com]

Yahoo Jerry Wang's argument is that Yahoo should comply with the law of the countries they operate in. In 1939 IBM did the same thing. Today helping a facist regime that's murdered thousands track people who dare speak against them, even anonymously, is reprehensible. Only hope one day Jerry Wang gets to feel the misery he's inflicted on others.

Reverend Lovejoy said "When the Government legalizes something, it's no longer immoral." It was meant to be satire.

Re:Not to suggest ... (1)

specific_pacific (904746) | more than 7 years ago | (#19465585)

Considering the recent flickr.com ban, they probably didn't do anything ;-) That or they haven't earnt enough brown nosing points like google has. ho ho ho :)

Re:Not to suggest ... (1)

norman619 (947520) | more than 7 years ago | (#19467751)

No they didn't do anything legally wrong. They were complying with Chinese laws and the deal they struck with the Chinese government. It think it's silly that people feel a company has the right to ignore laws if they don't agree with them. Just because something is legal here in the US and other nations doesn't mean it's legal EVERYWHERE. Yeah Chinese laws tend to crush freedoms but guess what? That's their right to do since it is their country. It's kinda like your neighbor feeling they are within their rights to enforce their own moral code on you in your own home. People need to remember China is a sovereign nation and can pass whatever laws they please no matter how wrong we may feel they are. If you con't want to follow the law in a country then simply don't do there. Don't do business there. But if you DO do business there you MUST follow their laws.

Fuck censorship (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19463613)

Enough said.

Don't do the Crime if you can't do the Time !! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19463693)


Don't do the Crime if you can't do the Time !! Don't Do It !!

The LAW is the LAW. If anyone could disregard the LAW without consequences, we'd have, we'd have all those Paris Hilton wannabes drink driving and where would you stand if you got run down by the likes of her ?? Throw her and her LAWbreaking kind where she and they belong.

curious (0, Flamebait)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#19463737)

You know - if as much rhetoric and time and effort was spent addressing the problems with the Chinese govt as with Yahoo obeying their laws, there might not be a problem in the first place.

Nah - too fucking obvious. China's perfect. DEATH TO YAHOO!

Re:curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19463949)

Of course, the important point here is that one *can* sue corporations - including big ones - in a captialist system, but in a communist state the government is untouchable.

A certain amount of communist type thinking is emerging in the modern tech community. Mostly from losers who don't want participate a system that naturally holds them accountable for what they do for others. Instead, these prople try to impose socialist ideas on others whilst positioning themselves to get the benefit. These fools should be sent to China and made to live as the Chinese do.

Re:curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19464139)

Like the trotskyite that just modded me down to try and censor my opinion. He needs a one-way ticket to wan-quan-chop-suey or somewhere so he can spend some time being told *exactly* what to say and think.

Re:curious (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#19464177)

Actually he's probably already there. Lots of Chinese trolling going on YouTube. Tried a little experiment on the anniversary of Tiananmen Square. Checked out some of the Tank videos. Lots of "native" flaming going on and some pretty interesting straw-man arguments.

Re:curious (1)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 7 years ago | (#19464901)

In Soviet China Party Tubes You!

be anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19463747)

or you could just have been anonymous and use networks such as anonet.org to move information about!

it isn't hard

Not sure but (1, Insightful)

svendsen (1029716) | more than 7 years ago | (#19463885)

I see posts asking if it is legal or not but does this matter? If country A passes a law that by moral standards is so disgusting can't people be held accountable if they still obey the law? If the law saws genocide against a people is legal and people do it, shouldn't those people still be held accountable? So if what happened in China is legal but makes the free world barf in disgust shouldn't the human morale side overrule the legal one?

Just some food for thought to hurt our brains on a Monday.

Re:Not sure but (1, Insightful)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#19464073)

Some students tried in China - they got hit with tanks, we gave them more trade agreements. I'm still waiting for plan-b.

Re:Not sure but (1)

svendsen (1029716) | more than 7 years ago | (#19464103)

Plan B involves giving all Chinese people amnesty and making them US citizens....

Re:Not sure but (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#19464235)

That's a pretty good idea actually. Give the subtlety of Chinese politics it'd be one hell of a message. Anyone know a good next step?

Re:Not sure but (1)

Perl-Pusher (555592) | more than 7 years ago | (#19464107)

Funny how many people here bring up morality. Morality is just as moving a target as laws. The only real difference is one is codified by governments. What is considered morally right in China is not the same as elsewhere. So who's standards do you apply? Western nations or the rest of the world? By population, the entire world would be fine with, "death penalty for insulting {'the Tai King','the Government','Mohammad','your mother'}. Killing daughters because they married someone the family didn't approve of is morally right in much of the world. If a Chinese employee does what is both morally and legally right in the country of his employ, you want to sue the stockholders in other countries? How does that help?

Re:Not sure but (1)

svendsen (1029716) | more than 7 years ago | (#19464275)

I've thought about the whole whose standards do you apply and have come up with a decent answer (in my mind at least). The morals we should apply are ones that gives human beings freedom and the ability to live their lives how they want too (without causing harms to others).

In more detail any set of morals that punish someone for just how they where born (race, sex, caste, etc) which a person has no control over has no business being called morals. Yay you are born a girl, they don't like girls, you die. Ya screw that. Sorry we don't like you black folk, how dare you "choose" to be born of a bad skin color. Seriously no contest. Your parents are poor too bad no matter how rich you are you will always be considered the lowest caste in our system. Only useful if you want to keep people down.

A set of morals that dictate who someone can/must marry is gone too since that set removes the ability of the person to be free.

Can't make fun of a kind/ruler/etc? We don't want to apply those.

The idea of what morals to choose would be how the benefit people not harm them. I cherry picked the easy ones for sure, there might be more difficult ones that take more time to iron out.

If a company chooses to work in multiple countries and has to deal with legal/moral issues conflicts the right answer would be to pick the morals that benefit the freedom of people. Oh no Yahoo leaves china some people lose their jobs least they didn't get someone put in jail (or worse for life).

My 2 cents...

Re:Not sure but (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 7 years ago | (#19464775)

The simple solution would be for everyone to follow my morals.

Re:Not sure but (1)

Christoph (17845) | more than 7 years ago | (#19465943)

One minimal objectice standard of morality is that behavior which will wipe out your own group or species, or otherwise harm your own survival, is immoral. E.g, A culture or group which killed all of their own newborn babies would be, objectively speaking, immoral, proven by the fact they exterminated themselves. They failed.

Imprisoning people for engaging in free speech is not good for economic competitiveness, public mental health, or the advancement of better government. America is more competitive because people can freely innovate (in government, business, sciene, etc.) without being imprisoned.

So you can argue that repression is objectively immoral, as it harms the promotion of a group's welfare. As are things like genocide, poisoning your own country's water and food supply, and any behavior which contributes towards physically destroying your own (species/race/nationality).

Re:Not sure but (1)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 7 years ago | (#19465671)

The difference between a moral person and a whiny bitch is that a moral person sees a problem, studies it in depth, and tries to find solutions while a whiny bitch just sees the surface problem and starts saying it's bad without ever taking the time to learn about the problem and find a solution.

This post is likely going to go straight to -1, troll or flamebait, but it gets tiresome to see people keep pointing and saying "bad" without ever proposing a solution that takes the big picture into account. China's human rights record is pretty shitty, nobody will disagree. But doing business with China, raising the standard of living and raising the education level along with a host of other things, just might be better than trying to cut them off from the world economy.

Re:Not sure but (1)

danpsmith (922127) | more than 7 years ago | (#19469605)

This post is likely going to go straight to -1, troll or flamebait, but it gets tiresome to see people keep pointing and saying "bad" without ever proposing a solution that takes the big picture into account. China's human rights record is pretty shitty, nobody will disagree. But doing business with China, raising the standard of living and raising the education level along with a host of other things, just might be better than trying to cut them off from the world economy.

I don't know why people have to constantly mention karma like it's a source of anything except over-inflated egos, but I digress. Your point is that doing business in China might make China a better place. Tell that to the man who used Yahoo's services. His life is not better for it. Just because Yahoo is a multi-national corporation that does relative good in the US does not mean it will become less evil than the Chinese officials when operating under Chinese law. From the pending court case we see the truth without any waviness: Yahoo in China is prepared to be as evil as the Chinese government in acting to censor its own citizens. You might have relativist arguments over whether or not censorship is evil in China and whether or not violating Chinese law is a bad thing, but some things are very obvious. 1) This man's life has not been bettered by Yahoo's dealings in China, 2) Yahoo's operations haven't "westernized" China, but in fact "communized" Yahoo's operations, as might have been predicted here and other places. You can bend over backwards to provide an excuse for these companies, but the fact remains that they are about the all-mighty dollar, and if local law means they can/have to trounce all over human rights, they can and will. China is better for having Yahoo? Maybe to the Chinese government, as it gains yet another way to spy on its citizens.

Europe has nothing to say on freedom of speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19464125)

Best summary of the case:

http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/2173 [brusselsjournal.com]

If the Chinese says that the importance of defending social order and national rights is equally important as the importance of defending against racism and individual rights, they could severly _increase_ the repression before they would even be on par with Europe.

It is not a question in most/all countries of whether free speech is curtailed, it is rather a question of exactly which speech is curtailed.

Go ahead, tell the Chinese that our concerns are right and theirs are wrong.

frost 4ist (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19464911)

log on Then the big deal. Death other members in from one folder on 'Yes' to any World will have disappearing up its Mod points and The time to meet arrogance was GAY NIGGERS from All our times have When I stood for I'll have( offended don't feel that Get tough. I hope to say there have fear the reaper themselves to be a to fight what has incompatibilities then disappeared nearly two years Operating systems , a proud member is EFNet, and you development. BSD sales and so on, incompatibilities engineering project Why not? It's quick notorious OpenBSD AND FINANCIAL visit formed his own Polite to bring if you move a table Marketing surveys When done playing racist? How is between each BSD simple solution hapless *BSD [theos.com] on his project faces a set Keep unnecessary Raise or lower the bottoms butt. Wipe

Re:frost 4ist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19467363)

What?!?

What Yahoo doesn't say (2, Insightful)

whamett (917546) | more than 7 years ago | (#19465101)

Yahoo has often recited the standard 'must comply with local laws' line, but have they ever identified which Chinese law(s), specifically, forced their hand? They were even asked point-blank, and remained conveniently silent [epochtimes.com] .

Shi Tao's lawyer says there was "no obligation at all to follow mainland China's law" (from the article linked above).

Is there in fact any substance to Yahoo's position, or is it just a hollow public relations exercise? If there's truth to what Yahoo says, they could be a bit more open about this.

Re:What Yahoo doesn't say (0, Troll)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 7 years ago | (#19465755)

Shi Tao's lawyer says there was "no obligation at all to follow mainland China's law" (from the article linked above).


I wonder, does this mean that Chinese companies can open up factories in the US? Then proceed to employ children for one tenth of a yuan per week? And make them work one hundred hours per week? And dump all their toxic waste into the local water supply? And pump all their noxious fumes into the atmosphere?

Because there is "no obligation at all to follow mainland US law".

What a stupid statement. If you want to do business in a country, you have to follow their laws.

Re:What Yahoo doesn't say (1)

whamett (917546) | more than 7 years ago | (#19465985)

The full quote is: "Furthermore, Yahoo Hong Kong's legal registration is not in [mainland] China; it has no obligation at all to follow mainland China's law."

It seems his point is that Yahoo's Hong Kong branch provided the information, but that branch is a legal entity incorporated in Hong Kong, and is therefore outside the jurisdiction of mainland Chinese laws (Hong Kong laws apply instead). Similarly, if police in North Korea or Cuba or Vietnam were to ask Yahoo's U.S. headquarters for information, they would have no jurisdiction and Yahoo would have no legal obligation to comply.

If it were a Yahoo branch incorporated in mainland China that had provided the information, your point would be quite valid.

I am not a lawyer, and I have not studied the relevant legalities; this is just my understanding of the statement you referred to.

(Of course, the purpose of the law is to uphold justice anyway, and from that perspective things are perhaps a bit more clear.)

China sucks, film at 11 (4, Insightful)

billcopc (196330) | more than 7 years ago | (#19465289)

Okay, so this guy is suing Yahoo because he's under fire for breaking "laws" in his own country. Look here, if I'm committing a "crime", say uh, smoking dope in my Canadian backyard and some NDP neighbor calls the pigs, well my neighbor is an asshole but I was still technically breaking the local law. I can harbor seething distaste for my politically-inferior cohabitant, but I have no legal ground to sue him.

Do we agree with China's corrupt censorship ? No. Does that mean it's ok for us to ignore their government's laws and impose our liberal views on THEIR citizens ? No. This guy got what was coming to him. If he doesn't want to be punished for speaking his mind, he should move to a free country.

Re:China sucks, film at 11 (1)

Akaihiryuu (786040) | more than 7 years ago | (#19465837)

I don't understand all of the uproar against Yahoo/etc. Sure we can argue that there are a lot of moral issues with Chinese laws, at least compared with "western" values. But directing anger at Yahoo for obeying local laws will not solve the underlying problem. All that will do is cause either 1) Yahoo to be kicked out of China, or 2) Local employees to be prosecuted under local laws. We can argue that choosing to not do business in China rather than obey morally questionable laws is a good thing, it would indicate that the executives are placing morals ahead of money. But that wouldn't help the Chinese people...the Chinese govt would continue as it always has and all it would do is deny the Chinese citizens a service. Efforts should instead be directed at the Chinese govt to change its policies or, if that fails, at the Chinese citizens to enact changes in their govt. Change has to come from within, Yahoo isn't in a position to change Chinese law.

Re:China sucks, film at 11 (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 7 years ago | (#19470811)

I have two problems with your argument:
1) You obviously are used to living in a free country where it's not that difficult to decide where you want to live. In a totalitarian country, it's frequently not so easy to decide you want to pack up and move somewhere else. Remember the wall around Berlin before East and West Germany unified in the 90's? That wasn't to keep West Germans from infiltrating East Germany and voting the Communist Party out; it was to keep the East Germans in. What makes you think it would be any easier to leave China?

2) While I am a big fan of law and order (the realities of living in a civil society, not the tv show), laws absolutely must come second to conscience/morality/whatever. I agree that we should live within the law to the best of our availability and that we should work within the legal system as much as possible to change bad laws, civil disobedience is an acceptable catalyst for change. I believe "I was only following orders!" was the defense used (unsuccessfully, I might add) by many of those tried for crimes against humanity after WWII. It was then, and still is now, a pathetic excuse by those who lack the backbone to stand up for what's right.

No case to answer (1)

Jack Sombra (948340) | more than 7 years ago | (#19465319)

No real case here that I can see.

He was in China when he sent the email
It was Yahoo China and it's subsidiaries that handed over the information
They were legally obliged to hand over the information (moral obligation is of no concern to the courts) according the Chinese law

The only reason they can even try to bring this to trial in the US is because Yahoo China is owned by Yahoo US

These cases are only being brought to give bad publicity to the corps involved and raise awareness of the China situation, I highly doubt they have any realistic expectations of winning

Plus them winning would be very bad for the US because not only would it be saying US > Foreign Law in that foreign country (never a good idea because it rapidly turns into a tip for tat situation) but also it would raise the question of countries or foreign companies in the US sharing information with the US Law enforcement about people, because after all US is now a country where you can be tortured and imprisoned without trial (Guantanamo and CIA prison camps)

Yahoo complying with local laws, year 1939 (1)

DeltaQH (717204) | more than 7 years ago | (#19465629)

Yahoo to judge:

But... Sir, we just complied with local laws according to our well known policy.

Of course we are sorry that the poor guy and his whole family had been cremated. But who are we to impose our racial points of view on a sovereing foreing country?

Who are we to say that or moral ideas are better? Besides, we must look after our shareholders. Had we not complied with local law whe would have to pull out of a very profitable market Sir.

Etc, etc..

Fitting Suit (1)

bitRAKE (739786) | more than 7 years ago | (#19465917)

I believe personal liberty that does not directly stiffle another person's liberty is a good thing (TM). Change is needed across the globe to this end.

Ideally, we would all like change to happen from within by awareness. There are repeated reports that governments attempt to stiffle awareness (maybe more so in China).

Attempting to force change externally often does not increase awareness because abstractions are created which shifts focus away from the element trying to be changed.

From this perspective, this lawsuit seems to directly target an element which I think needs to change. Not that Yahoo! needs to change, but might the lawsuit increase awareness within China?

Explanation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19473755)

The personal data of Shi was leaked by Yahoo Hong Kong but NOT Yahoo China.

Yahoo Hong Kong probably violated HK privacy law.

Under "one country, two system", Yahoo Hong Kong ONLY need to obey HK Law. While China asked them to give data, they can just refuse to do so.
  And yahoo sucks because they surrender under the pressure of China.
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