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Yahoo Settles With Imprisoned Chinese Journalists

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the stepping-up-to-the-plate dept.

Yahoo! 106

Terms of the deal are secret, but Yahoo has reached settlements with two Chinese journalists who were arrested based on information the company provided to the ruling Communist government. "[...] a source at Yahoo said the company has been 'working with the families, and we're working with them to provide them with financial, humanitarian and legal assistance.' Yahoo has also agreed to establish a global human rights fund to provide 'humanitarian relief' to support dissidents and their families. The source said that details still have to be worked out."

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106 comments

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Ah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21342321)

I see they reached an HTTP status 401 with them.

Re:Ah (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#21342383)

Yahoo has learned well from China. Keep it secret.

Well, (0, Troll)

Jailbrekr (73837) | more than 6 years ago | (#21342329)

why don't you give them a job when they get out, instead of just throwing money at them? That would simultaneously make amends and give China a big Fuck you.

Re:Well, (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21342507)

Why does China deserve a big Fuck You, as you so eloquently put it? China is a sovereign nation and is abiding by its own laws, customs, and regulations. This is not a case of China randomly punishing people. These people broke laws, laws that they fully knew about and laws that have been enforced strongly for quite some time. These journalists deserve to be Darwin award winners.

Does the U.S. not have the right to enforce its own laws? Why not so with China? Just because you are American and don't like China (even though you buy the majority of your imports from them)? Hypocrisy is rich.

Re:Well, (3, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#21342519)

Why does China deserve a big Fuck You, as you so eloquently put it? China is a sovereign nation

Mod parent funny! :D

Re:Well, (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#21342679)

More like "Mod Parent Sad Pathetic Beijing Slashdot Plant -5,234,242"

Re:Well, (4, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#21342561)

These people broke laws, laws that they fully knew about and laws that have been enforced strongly for quite some time.

Really? Please define "hooliganism" for us, if you would.

No, really - you said they knew up-front what the laws were. So please define for us, exactly, what a law based on a subjective and ever-changing term would be. Incidentally, China has thousands of such laws, its citizens have no real right to a decent trial, and "subversives" can be detained for the rest of their natural lives without so much as being read anything approaching a Miranda statement, let alone get a trial.

Idiot.

/P

Re:Well, (3, Interesting)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 6 years ago | (#21342641)

The loser = the guy in jail and Yahoo with the bad reputation.

The winner = US government who continue to tax Yahoo. And the politician who insulted the CEO in public.

This is more like US government vs US corporation. China has had the same law since the founding of the communist government.

Re:Well, (4, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#21342803)

The fact is that laws have always been incidental to the Communist regime in China. The notion of the "rule of law" has little meaning for the leadership. Essentially, how it works, is you have a practically meaningless legislature; the National Peoples' Congress, and you have the real power brokers, the President, the Premier of the State Council and the Peoples Liberation Army. For all intents in purposes, they do as they please, the only checks being each other. To imagine that one need actually have violated a law in China to be arrested in detained is hopelessly naive. There are any number of laws which can be made to apply, and if you piss of the Chinese government, you'll be hauled in, go through a show trial and then sent off to prison.

The very idea that you can equate breaking Chinese laws, particularly those designed to shield the leadership and the organs of state from any kind of oversight by the people they claim to serve, with breaking the laws in a liberal democracy is just daft. The Chinese leadership simply has an entirely different view which isn't by any means the statutory view that you'll find in Western nations.

Re:Well, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21345109)

Well, I've seen a fair bit of being above the law from a certain Executive branch lately. It cuts both ways, especially with these new fatherland security laws that bypass checks and balances. If authorities in a western society have it in for you, they already possessed a large number of justifiable reasons to deprive you of your liberties, and their arsenal has been greatly increased lately.

Essentially, how it works is you have vested interests passing favourable legislature by the real power brokers. It's not as different to China as you make out, but you are right in that the two justice systems have little comparison, though it seemingly grows by the day.

Re:Well, (2, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346585)

Despite it all, the Executive is still constrained by Congress and the Judiciary. There is simply nothing in the Chinese power structure that resembles the checks and balances in the American system, unless you consider the way the President and Premier play the power dance with the PLA somehow similar to the Constitutionally constrained entities of the US government.

There is no real regularized judiciary in China, so saying that Chinese officials knocking on Yahoo China's door is the equivalent of the FBI or Scotland Yard knocking on your door is as piss-poor an analogy as there is. In China, the fact is that if they decide your a threat, there is no appeal, no fair trial, no guarantee of adequate representation. You're fucked, truly and completely, so Yahoo China selling out dissidents is significantly different than Yahoo in the States turning in someone because law enforcement has a warrant approved by a judge.

Yes, there have been abuses in the States, but the party largely responsible for it has lost control of Congress and, unless things change dramatically, looks about ready to lose the White House as well. The very fact that power changes hand in that fashion ought to preface any claim of moral equivalency between the US and China.

Re:Well, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21348183)

"The very idea that you can equate breaking Chinese laws, particularly those designed to shield the leadership and the organs of state from any kind of oversight by the people they claim to serve, with breaking the laws in a liberal democracy is just daft."

True, until maybe 10 years ago (in the US anyways). You know we dropped the ball, don't you. And the ball still hasn't hit the bottom yet. Let's not shoot out mouth we sort this out first, 'K?

Re:Well, (0, Troll)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 6 years ago | (#21344569)

Any sane person would know that insulting or fighting against the Chinese government while in China is a sure fire way to get yourself thrown in Jail. These journalists knew that and yet they still did what they did and were thrown in jail for the efforts. Just becuase they bend the law and the prisoners weren't subjected to the same due process of the states doesn't mean that the rules aren't still perfectly clear.

Re:Well, (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#21342617)

If China wishes to continue the suppression of its poeple, that is their choice, but for Western companies to be helping them in this oppression is beyond the pale.

Your argument is rather like Burma's military junta defending their crackdown as simply a legalistic maneuver, and after all, Burma's a sovereign country, so why should we care? Say the same for Kosovo, for Darfur, for Apartheid-era South Africa? I mean, can any abuse of human beings be justified because "It's local law and custom"?

The US already goes after companies doing business in other parts of the world over activities like bribery, even when such activities are deemed as acceptable in the place the American companies are doing business. There's a key notion here that just because you head abroad doesn't suddenly mean you no longer can be scrutinized by the US government.

And besides, when did something being a law mean that it was unassailable? Heck, laws [wikipedia.org] banning interracial marriage were found in a number of states. Would you have been going up to Mildred and Richard Loving [wikipedia.org] and scolding them for violating local laws?

Re:Well, (2, Interesting)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 6 years ago | (#21342781)

but this was an ILLEGAL action in China and Yahoo China provided the legally required data under rules very similar to the USA PATRIOT Act here.

I believe there was some help from Yahoo US in locating the data in US servers. Here's the deal, how is this morally different from Big Box retailers propping up China's govt by paying their legal share of chinese taxes for the police that arrested these guys? Or for providing commerce to the regime?

How about when an airline provides a passenger list including passengers that won't be debarking then allows the plane to "land for repairs" causing them to get arrested for things like Online-gambling even when they don't get off the plane? How about those people that got arrested off the plane returning from the middle east and sent to Cuba? Can they sue the airline because they were illegally treated by the US and were ratted out?

It cuts both ways in spite of how Congress wants to be all high-n-mighty about it, they have passed dozens of laws that require US companies to do the same thing to both companies and citizens of foreign lands when it's convenient for them.

Re:Well, (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#21342845)

What don't you get? Anything is illegal in China that threatens the state. Anything. The notion that these people were breaking laws is nothing more than a pure formality. They were threats, in their own small ways, to the autocratic governing structure in China, and they were delivered like lambs to the slaughter by Yahoo.

As I've said, if China wishes to continue suppressing basic human freedoms, and the people of China want or have no choice but to go along with it, then that's fine. But I don't think an American company has any business helping them, whether it's Yahoo, Google and Microsoft selling out dissidents and journalists, or it's Cisco providing the hardware and support for the Great Firewall. Let China do its own dirty work.

Oh, and I thought "We were just following orders" had been dispensed with as a defense for violation of human rights and dignity some sixty years ago.

Re:Well, (2, Insightful)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346615)

but this was an ILLEGAL action in China and Yahoo China provided the legally required data under rules very similar to the USA PATRIOT Act here.

The level of abuse in China pales in comparison to even the worst parts of the PATRIOT Act. The comparison doesn't hold water. I'm no fan of some recent American legislation, but there are different shades of "bad", and China is very, very much further on the scale than even the most heinous of American laws.

Not to mention that "we were just following orders" was deemed a non-defense at the Nuremberg trials. Somebody writing a decree on a piece of paper does not absolve you of your personal responsibility to behave with due morality.

It cuts both ways in spite of how Congress wants to be all high-n-mighty about it

The parallel can be drawn, but they are not the same. The US has due process and the rule of law, both concepts do not exist in China. When a company is compelled to turn over information, a warrant is required (recent Bush shenanigans notwithstanding), official records exist that will be accessible after the conclusion of any investigations. The entire thing is (fairly) transparent and accessible to the people, including the accused. To do anything to the individual involved, even with this information, requires officially charging the individual with a crime (which has to be clearly defined in legislation, not just trumped up in some generic category like "treason"), and granting him a right to fair trial in a jury of his peers, selected through a rigorous process to ensure impartiality. Heck, undue influence of the jury can even result in a mistrial.

China? The process goes more like... Make trumped up charges based on vague, generic crimes not well defined in any sort of legislation. Compel companies to release confidential data with neither warrant nor proper, transparent procedure. Imprisonment without a fair trial - or use your control of the media to stage a laughable trial with jury members cherry-picked from party loyalists. Convicted "criminals" have no legal recourse, no access to a higher court of law, nor an appeals process.

While America has certainly taken a few steps backwards, one would be sorely mistaken to believe it's ANYWHERE near as bad as China in its current state.

Re:Well, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21353539)

but this was an ILLEGAL action in China and Yahoo China provided the legally required data under rules very similar to the USA PATRIOT Act here.

Well let's hope the PATRIOT Act doesn't get any more similar.

Re: Etymology of 'draconian' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21345013)

Yeah, 'obey all laws'...

Draco was basically the grand poobah long ago. He made some 'laws', and basically made the penalty for breaking any law, death.

So, if a starving 5 year old kid stole a piece of bread, well, too bad, 'he broke the law - against theft'. Sentenced to death, etc.

Yeah, all you conservative 'obey the law' types are just full of great ideas...nothing new under the sun.
Here, read all about 'law' here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Draco_(lawgiver) [wikipedia.org]

no law, of any nation (3, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21342709)

is to be respected, if that nation does not respect the will of it's people

therefore, if the country is not democratic, anything goes: you as a citizen should not respect any law of your country

authority is not to be respected if authority is not accountable to the common citizen

if a government is accountable to theocrats, royals, despots, autocrats, or technocrats, that government is not to be respected, by its citizens, or the international community

because those governments certainly don't respect their citizens

only in a democracy are the will of the citizens respected, via the vote, so only in a democracy is the government accountable to its citizens, and only democratically elected governments are to be respected by its citizens and the international community

Re:no law, of any nation (1, Troll)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 6 years ago | (#21342885)

True democracy has not been practiced in such a long time though. The current democratic model is so flawed it lets guys like Bush, Blair and Howard be elected.

Populations of large democratic nations are way to big for the ancient greek democratic model to work. I am not saying scrap democracy but the way it's carried out needs to be revised.

The current model still has too much emphesis on majority rule and allows for minorities to still be repressed. Anti-descrimination laws only go so far. A majority could rule in favor of theocracy and take away certain rights of everyone because its "not christain".

Sometimes a gullable mob is just as bad as a communist regime.

that's incredibly retarded (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21342995)

in any nation that has practiced democracy, and in any nation that ever will practice democracy, there is the mainstream agenda, and a spectrum of fringe agendas. that's your majority and minority. the fringe agendas never will be respected, and never should be respected. because democracy is working exactly when fringe agendas don't get respected: the will of the people is the great moderate middle, not the loud stupid fringe, on any issue, right or left

and please, don't for once try to equate that bullshit with disrespecting racial minorities or religious minorities. completely different subject matter

Re:that's incredibly retarded (0, Troll)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 6 years ago | (#21343131)

Thats rich comming from a country that RE-elected George W Bush

yes, gw bush was reelected (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21343469)

that's the will of the people. i didn't vote him, i think he's a stupid frat boy. i hate the ahole

but i respect that that is the will of the american people

i ALSO respect the fact that he did not win the popular vote in 2000. that without the retarded electoral college, al gore would have been president in 2000, and the last 8 years under gw bush would have never happened, IF the will of the people was unfiltered

Re:yes, gw bush was reelected (1)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 6 years ago | (#21343713)

The will of the people will never be unfiltered 100%, another reason why I think democracy needs to revised. Fuck no I dont want it abolished but the system needs to be revised.

not revised (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21344081)

less filtered. the usa has a problem with the influence of $$$. remove all $ from the system. all political ads are paid for by a national fund. everyone gets the same amount of cash. any cash spent in any way to support a candidate outside the system will be punished. anyone can run. all they need is enough preliminary votes. the preliminary vote cap will be set high as to eliminate fringe and joke candidates like the libertarians and nader

and go to borda or approval voting

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borda_count [wikipedia.org]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Approval_voting [wikipedia.org]

it would be very hard to do, entrenched interests, ignorance, inertia, and all that, but it's obviously the right thing to do. cross your fingers

You forgot the best voting system: (1)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349619)

The Condorcet Method [wikipedia.org] . But changing our country's voting system is about as likely as us developing a porcine air force.

Re:yes, gw bush was reelected (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 6 years ago | (#21344741)

The will of the people will never be unfiltered 100%, another reason why I think democracy needs to revised.

After reading a bit of Heinlein, I came across a description of law-making that I liked. It's been a while, but goes something like this:

ANY citizen can submit a bill to enact a law, or repeal one. It matters not just HOW loony it might seem; every citizen has a shot, barring criminals or the clinically insane. You can go out to vote, or do it at home with state-issued voting boxes. Picture a list of the "laws of the day/week/month" being listed on screen/paper, with three {mayhaps four} choices: Yes, No, Abstain, and possibly Abstain/Protest for those looking to make a point with the politicos. Once enacted, a law can be immediately repealed on the next vote, but stands until. Various infrastructure bills might be passed at a higher level for stability, but otherwise, it's up to us.

I found it attractive for a variety of reasons.

Potential for reduction of voter apathy, for one. If I decided that I should have the right to wear gag Groucho Marx glasses at my job, I submit it for a vote. Next voting cycle, the "Marx-Friendly Workplace Bill" comes up for a round. If it passes, the next day I show up in with 'em on.

Of course, my boss then can submit a proposal to repeal that law, and it once again goes before the people.

People will pay more attention. Voting that frequently, if you miss a submission or two, you could be in trouble. Picture a resolution mandating all lawyers, henceforth and 24/7, must wear a rainbow clown wig.

Funny to most... unless you're a lawyer. When folks realize they could be negatively impacted directly, it'll tend to motivate 'em more than a flurry of activity every so often from people they've usually not met, that usually don't listen to them, and that could care less about them.

It's about as close as you might be able to get to "the Will of the People". How many armchair politicians do you know? Just about everyone has an opinion on how their locality should be run; now they have the chance, from their house, to make those changes by taking the time to type out a bill. It might even cut down on protests, as well... Rather than rail at politicians and hope you've the publicity to force a change, you can simply put it up for a vote yourself. THAT is power, my friend.

The caveat here is that you might just get what you asked for: the will of the masses just might not be too pretty...

...but that's a different discussion...

Re:that's incredibly retarded (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21343477)

So is OK if the majority agenda is to kill the minority? For example, was the armenian genocide just a good example of democracy in action?

2 things (0, Troll)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21344035)

1. the vast majority has always been more tolerant than one would suppose. common decency is the norm, not rabid pogroms. it is demagogues in power who lead with lies and propaganda that incites the usual suspects into committing atrocities against religious and racial minorities

2. in cases where the majority is intent on killing a racial or religious minority, why do you think a government besides democracy will protect citizens from that? more likely, it will inflame the persecution further (jews in the ussr, christians in saudi arabia, falun gong in china, etc.)

in other words, you somehow say that democracy incites persecution of minorities. on the contrary, it puts demagogues out of power and allows common decency to shine through. and even if it doesn't do that, every other form of government makes persecution of minorities worse. this entire issue is a stupid red herring

Re:that's incredibly retarded (1)

Mukunda_NZ (1078231) | more than 6 years ago | (#21344305)

Okay, so what about previous issues that were on the fringes? Gay issues is an obvious one... Should the majority be able to repress the minority? I don't want to live in a society where the will of the masses dictates what I can do, and I don't want to dictate to them what they can do. The democracy you talk about sounds like a proletarian dictatorship, and I don't want that. Infact I don't want any master other than myself.

that.is.fucking.hilarious. (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21344605)

dude. democracy=rule by the people

you call it "proletarian dictatorship"

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

that's like "dry water" or "bright darkness"

i can't even begin to put into words how out of touch you are

let's just put it this way: list all the problems you have with democracy. now look at every other government type. conclusion: EVERY OTHER GOVT TYPE IS WORSE

get to work on the space ship there bub

or, accept that the great moderate middle is not on the cutting edge of fringe issues. nor ever they will be. but they get there, slowly. and when they get there, such as with gay rights, etc., then gay rights will be accepted and respected. but until they do, tough shit. don't like that deal? guess what: NO OTHER GOVT WORKS BETTER THAN THAT in terms of the issues you care about like gay rights

congratulations, welcome to reality. deal with it

Re:that.is.fucking.hilarious. (1)

pangloss (25315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349269)

Many ancient Greek philosophers believed democracy to be the worst form of government (consider Plato & Aristotle). So it's not exactly a new argument and it certainly isn't an argument without its merits.

Moreover, the democracy you are speaking so heavily in favor of (not just in the parent post, but throughout this thread), sounds like simple majority rule, which is perhaps why someone else threw the phrase "proletarian dictatorship" at you. Simple majority rule can easily take the form of tyranny, which is why, for example, the idea of inalienable rights is so fundamental.

Re:Well, (3, Interesting)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21343113)

I guess you also think that bulldozing down Chinese owner's homes to make space for the olympics is also...

abiding by its own laws, customs, and regulations.
When the BBC found the home owners in a jail for protesting the BBC crew wear beaten and then arrested (after being beaten). They were then made to delete the footage (they didn't because we were watching it).

I couldn't find that video, but here is another.. http://youtube.com/watch?v=kxUZIG0Eea4 [youtube.com]

Or perhaps we should look at how China kills more people a year then every other country in the world combined. Especially their treatment of Falun Gong [wikipedia.org] worshippers. They beat them to death and tell people they committed suicide. Then they take the dead body to the hospital for organ harvesting.

I found a video on that here: http://youtube.com/watch?v=Fkf2u1Umzi4 [youtube.com]

Does the U.S. not have the right to enforce its own laws? Why not so with China? Just because you are American and don't like China (even though you buy the majority of your imports from them)? Hypocrisy is rich.
It's got nothing to do with hating china and when you use that line you sound like you're working for the Chinese government, because that is EXACTLY what their defence is to any allegations of abuse against its citizens.

Although America is a crap country in my opinion that I'd never want to visit, at least they don't bulldoze down people's houses and give them almost nothing in return. They don't round up the religious people they don't like, beat them to death, tell the families they killed themselves and then take their heart, lungs, liver and then cremate the body to hide any evidence.

Re:Well, (1)

crotherm (160925) | more than 6 years ago | (#21344349)

Although America is a crap country in my opinion that I'd never want to visit,
Just curious... is it the current government in Washington DC, or all of USA? It is a rather large and diverse country.

Re:Well, (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21344455)

I don't understand your question I don't live in the US.

Re:Well, (1)

largesnike (762544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346725)

at least they don't bulldoze down people's houses and give them almost nothing in return
Actually the coloured survivors of Hurricane Katrina may have a differing opinion there.

Re:Well, (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21347629)

Oh really? I didn't realise the survivors of Hurricane Katrina were put into secret prisons and beaten. Please tell me more about that.

Mod parent up (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 6 years ago | (#21343283)

why don't you give them a job when they get out, instead of just throwing money at them? That would simultaneously make amends and give China a big Fuck you.
That job is reserved for nuclear weapons and US regulations.

Re:Well, (1)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 6 years ago | (#21343463)

What's great is Yahoo seems to be going for kudos saying they're providing for "legal assistance". Yeah, assistance they wouldn't need had Yahoo not been capitulating assholes in the first place.

This whole things sickens me. They bang on about other countries human rights violations, but apparently China has enough money to make corporations and governments not care.

Yeah, I know, hardly new, but it's still sickening.

It's about time (0, Troll)

explosivejared (1186049) | more than 6 years ago | (#21342361)

Yahoo should do all those things considering they helped put the journalists behind bars in the first place. If only a castigation from Congress would be this effective in every scenario.

After Congress's rant against Yahoo they had better back Yahoo up and pressure the Chinese to release these journalists.

Re:It's about time (4, Insightful)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 6 years ago | (#21342607)

how about when the DOJ arrests a UK citizen, off an in-transit plane (outside customs entry into the USA) at a US airport on layover, that runs an online gambling site legal in the UK but not in the USA, using data the airline supplied under homeland security? Isn't that EXACTLY the same thing. Airline Companies not of US origin allowing the USA govt to arrest their passengers when they are still on that companies property via international travel should not get a free pass either.

Counter-revolutionary article removed (3, Insightful)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 6 years ago | (#21342387)

For the good of the people.

What I would like to know: have they reached a "deal" to stop cooperating with totalitarian censors in suppressing freedom of speech and political opposition?

Re:Counter-revolutionary article removed (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#21342423)

I doubt it. I'm sure, if you're a Chinese journalist or dissident using Yahoo China for communications and the authorities figure you're saying critical things about them or reporting the truth of their regime, Yahoo will happily sell you out, but now with the added dimension that they'll buy off your relatives.

Re:Counter-revolutionary article removed (1)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21342633)

"they'll buy off your relatives"

Only if you get caught and brought up before congress... nice save, but yahoo still sucks and this just goes to show you that they are more interested in getting some traction in a new market rather than being good human beings. "Screw the dissidents, we see dollar signs!!!" -- yahoo.org

Re:Counter-revolutionary article removed (2, Interesting)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 6 years ago | (#21342809)

[Yahoo] are more interested in getting some traction in a new market rather than being good human beings.

The sad thing is that it doesn't matter what Yahoo! (or any other American company) does to gain market share in China, it can all swiftly be taken away should they anger the wrong person [news.com] .

Re:Counter-revolutionary article removed (1)

theMerovingian (722983) | more than 6 years ago | (#21342947)


In China, there seems to be a trend that financial compensation to the victims will mitigate punishment in criminal cases. This is not common in the US, except for restitution-based payments for property crimes.

See here for an extreme example [atimes.com]

My analogy does not directly apply, since presumably any recovery by the workers would be had in US court rather than Chinese court. I just chime in to say that financial compensation might seem more appropriate to people from a different legal system.

Maybe I can put out a request for advice from a Chinese(!) lawyer on slashdot, that might provoke an interesting collection of responses.

Re:Counter-revolutionary article removed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21343609)

>ahoo will happily sell you out, but now with the added dimension that they'll buy off your relatives.

Yahoo is a company that consists of people. If the chinese branch was visited by an official giving out death threats, then guess what? The names will be given out.

ITS A CORRUPT TOTALITARIAN GOVERNMENT>

Pissing on yahoo and assuming the 'dont snitch' policy works shows how naive slashdotters truly are.

When chinese men decide to give their lives for their freedom then things will change. In the meantime, dont blame those put under duress for information for the failures of the chinese people to raise themselves out of totalitarianism.

Re:Counter-revolutionary article removed (1)

jamar0303 (896820) | more than 6 years ago | (#21344957)

Yahoo Japan + Babelfish. Yahoo Japan is operated separately (by Softbank) and they'd probably not do such a thing, given that they have no presence in China (and China forcing them to would bring them mounds of "We hate China" demonstrations from the Japanese, and possibly withdrawal of Japanese investment in China).

are you talking about wikipedia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21342575)

you see, i had an article on there listing 'political epithets', it was deleted.

the entry for 'counterrevolutionary', which is an insult term used frequently by communist dictatorships in the past, was made its own article. funny thing, the 'new, improved' article does not mention china at all.

Re:Counter-revolutionary article removed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21342577)

My thoughts exactly. Screw Yahoo.

Here's a formula to derive how much the secret settlement came out to:

[(Profits from China division after cooperating with a fascist regime) minus (Theoretical profits from China division while maintaining even a minimal moral code)] times (.00001) equals (Pay off)

I guess I'll post this AC given my Y! fantasy football account is very similar to my /. tag, and I needs me some fantasy football!

Re:Counter-revolutionary article removed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21343105)

Yahoo ought to be Waterboarded.

Re:Counter-revolutionary article removed (1)

jady06 (1188683) | more than 6 years ago | (#21344163)

Exactly my sentiments. And to think of that Internet is supposed to be the medium for free speech! Hope this incident is never repeated.

Two cents at a time. (4, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 6 years ago | (#21342411)

> Yahoo said the company has been 'working with the families, and we're working with them to provide them with financial, humanitarian and legal assistance.' Yahoo has also agreed to establish a global human rights fund to provide 'humanitarian relief' to support dissidents and their families. The source said that details still have to be worked out."

Has one of your loved ones been shot for treason? Disappeared for thoughtcrime? Or just had one of those spur-of-the-moment fits of altruism and volunteered to donate any and all needed organs to help a wealthy Party official?

Well, Yahoo! is here to help! Yahoo! has set up a humanitarian relief fund that to fund the families' share of the burden. For every family member shot, Yahoo! will supply your family with two cents to cover the cost of the bullet, and for every organ harvested, Yahoo! will reimburse your family for the costs of the surgery.

It's all in this Little Red "Y". Yahoooooooooo!

Get them jailed, pay their family (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#21342431)

Seems that Tom Lantos should have grilled yahoo execs much more than he did.

Wow (3, Interesting)

db32 (862117) | more than 6 years ago | (#21342443)

This is rich. Yahoo gets dissenters thrown in prison. Yahoo then generates PR by funding these organizations. Somewhat like MS spending so much time/money in Africa helping with medical problems...that are tied to the chemical plants that the Gates Foundation invests in. Generate your own PR opportunities. Genius!

Re:Wow (0, Troll)

rilister (316428) | more than 6 years ago | (#21342761)

Care to back up that casual slander of the Gates Foundation with any reference? I'm genuinely curious about what you've read that I missed.
Otherwise, don't blame me if I assume that you're trolling.

Re:Wow (1)

FleaPlus (6935) | more than 6 years ago | (#21343029)

Care to back up that casual slander of the Gates Foundation with any reference? I'm genuinely curious about what you've read that I missed.

Via Wikipedia, here's some of the various criticisms people have raised about the Gates Foundation:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_and_Melinda_Gates_Foundation#Criticisms [wikipedia.org]

Promotion of abortion rights and contraception

Some social conservatives also criticize the foundation for its support of organizations that promote abortion rights and contraception, including the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Guttmacher Institute, the United Nations Population Fund and the World Health Organization.[citation needed]

Investment in oil companies and drug companies

According to a January 7 2007 Los Angeles Times article, the foundation invests large amounts of money in companies whose behavior counters the foundation's charitable goals.[31] Examples include oil companies such as Eni and drug companies who withhold medications from the developing world. According to the article, many other foundations behave similarly. In response, the foundation first announced a systematic review of all of its investments to determine whether it should consider divestment from some companies.[32] Later, it revoked this pledge[33] and said it would continue its current practices.[34]

In a May 4 story, the Los Angeles Times again reported a conflict between the foundation investment policies and charitable goals. [15] In this case the issue was Darfur and PetroChina, an oil company in which Gates trustee Warren Buffett owns a large stake via his Berkshire Hathaway company. PetroChina's parent companies is heavily invested in oil extraction in the Sudan.

Diversion of health care resources

In a January/February 2007 Foreign Affairs article, Laurie Garrett claims that many charitable organizations, among whom the Gates Foundation is prominent, harm global health by diverting resources from other important local health care services.[35] For example, by paying relatively high salaries at AIDS clinics, the foundation diverts medical professionals from other parts of developing nations' health care systems; the health care systems' ability to provide care diminishes (except in the area the foundation funds) and the charities may do more harm than good.

Re:Wow (1)

rilister (316428) | more than 6 years ago | (#21344019)

Cheers. Slack of me to not go right to the 'pedia. OK - well, Wikipedia does reference stuff that I have seen in the press before...

"Promotion of abortion rights and contraception"

uh-huh. Sure. Terrible.

"Investment in oil companies and drug companies"
The BMGF have $34b. It doesn't just sit around in a sack in Bill's house waiting to be given away. In fact, to try and make sure that that pile o' cash doesn't get ravaged by inflation, and to hopefully give more away, they invest it, just like (I hope) you do with your pension savings.

Ever looked at what your 401k pension savings are invested in? Got any S&P500 funds? "American Growth" funds? Anything like that? If so, you too are investing in Exxon and Abbott and any number of companies that are responsible for "spills", "pollution" and all kinds of nasty things. Heck, you'd even be investing in Philip Morris (now "Altria") and Microsoft.

The difference between me and the BMGF is that they have a commitment to give every cent they make from these investments to the poor, hungry and under-represented people in the world. My pension is just for me and my family. How about your savings? The LA Times the other reply cites (Cheers!) makes about half a decent point and them smothers it in innuendo, weak connections and then implies that BMGF should be regulating the oil industry.

It's so easy to throw muck, and Microsoft thoroughly deserves a ton o' muck. But this isn't Microsoft and Bill Gates isn't frickin' Satan. Yep, I do wish the Foundation would confine themselves to 'ethical' investments, but I think they don't want to get distracted by navigating that minefield (define ethical for me?) when there's work to be done. Just one single investment company (Vanguard) holds over $125b in the S&P500, so on the scale of the investment market even Bill's $34b starts to look small.

This holy-than-thou tone about a charitable organization that is doing its level best to tackle some of the biggest problems in the world and is making some actual headway on some of them (did you read the rest of the Wikipedia article? - "the approximately US$800 million that the foundation gives every year for global health approaches the annual budget of the United Nations' World Health Organization (192 nations)") is pretty weak. I don't work for Bill, or his Foundation, but I do admire the Foundation, I'll admit it. I think there's some things in this world worth being positive about, and enormous generosity and a will to improve the world is one of them.

Re:Wow (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 6 years ago | (#21344645)

There are numerous sources. LA Times and Seattle Times have both run stories on it, among others. They have investments in predatory loaning companies, Dow Chemichals (the fine owners of Union Carbide), etc etc. The killer article that I read (I was actually unaware of the depth of the sheisty dealings of the Gates Foundation until recently trying to track it down again). They had investments in a chemical plant that was leading cause of health problems in an area of Africa, which of course they spent tons of money to treat people in the area being sure to smile for the camera and ultimately getting the whole Man of the Year award.

I'm not going to sit here and recap every story that has touched on this just because you think I am trolling. It was all over for a while, and personally I don't care if you don't believe me. Might as well go on about how Yahoo did nothing wrong by turning the dissenters in, after all, they were following the laws in the applicable country right? I mean its not like the companies Gates Foundation invests in is actually violating the laws of the countries they operate in...thats why they choose to operate there...so they can spew toxic shit all over and not worry about the pesky government giving them any flack

Gates foundation chemical plants? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21344243)

You are referring to this? http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-gatesx07jan07,0,6827615.story?coll=la-home-headlines [latimes.com]

The money is doing more good than bad by a huuge margin. Gates is not getting any richer off having this foundation. He doesn't run any chemical plants.

Gates foundation did invest a tiny portion in chemical plants such as Eni .. but all wise foundations invest in companies so that the foundation's money won't just run out. It's called prudent financial planning.

Why don't you check out all the tangible good the foundation is doing instead of slandering them for one or two minor alleged missteps. You really need to check the facts before you conclude they are doing more harm than good .. and furthermore that they are deliberately causing pollution.

Do you know all the business practices of companies that any mutual funds you own invest in?

Re:Gates foundation chemical plants? (1, Flamebait)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 6 years ago | (#21345095)

Gates. . .

He's a very smart man. --Rape and pillage to gain your wealth, realize that your life-span is finite and that the world hates you. Hm.

Will Gates invest in anything which would minimize MS's returns? Will he promote openness in information and software and knowledge? Not likely. Gates might actually think that he suddenly cares about people, but I find that hard to believe. It seems more that he is trying to put his muddy name through the washer so that history will remember him with love rather than for all the many nasty things he's done. He's no better than any other self-loving selfish personality. Rockefeller and Hearst were the same way.

But hey, who says money can't buy you love?


-FL

Re:Gates foundation chemical plants? (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 6 years ago | (#21349237)

Okay, you're an idiot.

He's making money off software (not killing or maiming people, but writing pieces of code) and he's using that money to HELP people.

You know? Those things like curing AIDs and other diseases, finding ways of providing potable water etc?

He runs a business and he is a little ruthless about it, yes - but it's business.

Priorities man, priorities.

Re:Gates foundation chemical plants? (1)

Shajenko42 (627901) | more than 6 years ago | (#21350117)

He runs a business and he is a little ruthless about it, yes - but it's business.
Sounds like a line right out of the Godfather.

Jailing Dissidents is Stupid. (0, Troll)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 6 years ago | (#21342579)

This is one thing that I have never understood about countries which try to limit speech and especially criticism of the government. What is gained by shutting down dissent with the power of force? Do they actually believe that the rest of the world doesn't know what is going on anyway? Heck, even the dimmest rural Chinese citizen knows well the failings of the system (probably from bitter personal experience). Is their system or argument so weak that it cannot stand up in an honest debate? These countries should stop quashing dissent with the gun and instead fight the battle of ideas in an open and public debate. What are they so afraid of? If they believe so strongly that their system is the best then why not put their money where their mouth is so to speak?

Re:Jailing Dissidents is Stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21342631)

They know perfectly well their ideas would not survive free, honest debate.

Re:Jailing Dissidents is Stupid. (1)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21342795)

The purpose of power is two-fold:

1.) Retain power
2.) Increase power

There is no other real objective to power. Dissent can erode power. Dissent can be crushed by force, and if the rest of the world either fears you or needs you (and in China's case, it's both), they aren't going to do much to stop you. Sure, they'll spout empty rhetoric, but so what? They're still buying your goods, and they're still petrified of your military might.

Tin-pot dictators get away with oppression because nobody that can do anything about it in the outside world cares enough to bother. World powers do not waste time and money on human rights abuses in Lower Berzerkistan because there's no percentage in it.

Emerging superpowers like China get away with it because the only people that can do anything about it (the US, possibly Russia) need China intact and powerful to prop up their own economies, and even if they didn't they know they couldn't realistically win a war with China. War would be a disaster, and economic sanctions would harm our economy more than theirs, so they can do whatever the hell they please.

The only reason China will respond to pressure on this sort of thing at all is because they want to look good for the 2008 Olympics. Even then, though, they aren't likely to do more than try to temporarily push this stuff underground.

Not by a longshot. (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 6 years ago | (#21343117)

Emerging superpowers
You misspelled "Developing countries".

^W^WDeveloping countries like China get away with it because the only people that can do anything about it (the US, possibly Russia) need China intact and powerful to prop up their own economies, and even if they didn't they know they couldn't realistically win a war with China. War would be a disaster, and economic sanctions would harm our economy more than theirs, so they can do whatever the hell they please.
You horribly underestimate the US military. Also, there are ways of ignoring that part of the world while getting what we want domestically and enforcing our policies globally.

Sovereignty is why you don't let free trade go unchecked/unregulated.

Re:Not by a longshot. (1)

sydneyfong (410107) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348483)

It doesn't matter how good the US military is. If the aim is to "beat the bad guys up", as a means of "punishment", then sure, I bet the US has enough nukes to bring Beijing to ashes. However, if you're trying to *change* a country ... uh, we've seen all the petty tricks the US could pull in Iraq...

If it's hard to get Iraq under control, imagine how difficult it would be to get China under control... (ask the CCP, they know how hard it is) 1.3 billion people, many of them strongly "patriotic" (mind you, there are those who do not support the CCP, yet would still do whatever they could to resist a foreign occupation), and you'd still think the USA is really up to the job of setting up a government in China? That actually upholds the "good" ideals?

Besides, with the Iraqi mess I really doubt whether the US military has enough extra resources (at least in the foreseeable future) to launch a non-nuclear assault on China ...

====

To use a rather tasteless analogy: if you have strong arms and a large p***s, you can rape a woman, but it doesn't mean you can get her to marry you, much less side with your ideals. My impression is that a number of Americans only focus on the p***s part... which, I dunno, probably has something to do with the unsolicited emails I get all the time.

Re:Jailing Dissidents is Stupid. (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#21343293)

Dissent can erode power. Dissent can be crushed by force, and if the rest of the world either fears you or needs you (and in China's case, it's both), they aren't going to do much to stop you.

That's the thing. Dissent can be crushed by force but it never real works in the end. People will find a way to speak and all fascist states have fallen up till this point due to anger over oppression of freedom of speach.

The smart power mongers will find away so that dissent can be had, but changes nothing politically.

This can be as simple as making the dissenters just seem irrational by thew view of the majority of citizens or setting up a political system in which the dissenters appear to have an ability to affect the outcome of elections but in reality it does nothing.

That way, when someone complains that the nation is turning into a fascist state, the powers that be can say "Hey! Look at this guy over here complaining about how bad we are! He isn't being repressed isn't he? We aren't fascist! Never mind the fact that we don't hold free and fair elections!"

The point is... That just because you can complain about the government won't make it a great nation to live in, if they control every other aspect of your life. That way, the citizens could complain all they want, but you won't do anything to punish them until they actually step out of line and then make it seem like they are evil criminals.

That way the power of dissent will be minimized and the power that be won't have to worry about a revolt.

Re:Jailing Dissidents is Stupid. (1)

jamar0303 (896820) | more than 6 years ago | (#21344995)

You know, a return to "Made in the USA" wouldn't hurt any.

Re:Jailing Dissidents is Stupid. (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346639)

You know, a return to "Made in the USA" wouldn't hurt any.
Best convince the consumer to pay more. FAct is we're in the Walmart Era, and the only way to sustain that sort of economy is by doing business with China.

Re:Jailing Dissidents is Stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21348835)

If the dollar keeps getting weaker, "made in the US" will become inevitable.

Re:Jailing Dissidents is Stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21342889)

What is gained by shutting down dissent with the power of force?
It acts as a deterrent to others who might promote contrarian views. Basically it creates a "chilling effect" where open debate and questioning the status quo government are impossible.

Do they actually believe that the rest of the world doesn't know what is going on anyway? Heck, even the dimmest rural Chinese citizen knows well the failings of the system (probably from bitter personal experience).
Preventing the flow of information out of their borders is more difficult, but apparently their efforts to keep the populace ill-informed have worked. (Apparently a large percentage of common people don't know anything about Tiananmen square, for instance.) Although the populace may recognize the hardships they endure, that doesn't mean they are cognizant of the quality of life elsewhere in the world, and more importantly aware of the fact that many of the things their own government does are "bad."

Is their system or argument so weak that it cannot stand up in an honest debate?
Yes, their argument is very weak. The argument of a totalitarian regime is basically "do what I say because I'm the one in power." The ruling party will always claim, of course, that what they are doing is "for the greater good"--but such statements do not, in fact, withstand careful analysis and scrutiny. If they had an open, honest debate about what is best for the country and its citizens, they would surely realize that the current system suffers many problems, and should be changed. In short, it is not in the best interests of those currently in power to promote this kind of debate, since it will ultimately lead to them being removed from positions of abuse/power.

These countries should stop quashing dissent with the gun and instead fight the battle of ideas in an open and public debate. What are they so afraid of? If they believe so strongly that their system is the best then why not put their money where their mouth is so to speak?
Again, the problem is defining "best." The fact is that the current ruling party will often think the current system is great--that doesn't mean it's the best system to encourage wealth and prosperity among the people.

I obviously agree with you that vigorous public debate (and acting based on the conclusions of such debate) is essential to creating a robust, accountable government, and a wealthy, ethical nation. However the problem is very much that those currently in control do not want things like public debate or democracy, because those things would call into question their beliefs, and (more importantly) threaten the power base of an elite.

Re:Jailing Dissidents is Stupid. (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 6 years ago | (#21343011)

Yes, their argument is very weak. The argument of a totalitarian regime is basically "do what I say because I'm the one in power." The ruling party will always claim, of course, that what they are doing is "for the greater good"--but such statements do not, in fact, withstand careful analysis and scrutiny.
Explains Google and Yahoo in this light completely.

Re:Jailing Dissidents is Stupid. (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21343147)

This is one thing that I have never understood about countries which try to limit speech and especially criticism of the government. What is gained by shutting down dissent with the power of force? Do they actually believe that the rest of the world doesn't know what is going on anyway?
I don't think that's their goal. It's mostly to restrict the flow of information inside the country, so people can't orchestrate a violent uprising.

Heck, even the dimmest rural Chinese citizen knows well the failings of the system (probably from bitter personal experience).
Yeah, but even if they are aware of what we would consider failings, there's no guarantee that the person would, a) recognise it as a failing, b) know that anywhere else would be any different, c) know if anyone else feels the same, d) feel secure enough to act, especially with all the dissidents being jailed, and d) even care, if they haven't felt the need to speak out.

Is their system or argument so weak that it cannot stand up in an honest debate? These countries should stop quashing dissent with the gun and instead fight the battle of ideas in an open and public debate. What are they so afraid of? If they believe so strongly that their system is the best then why not put their money where their mouth is so to speak?
You're thinking far too democratically. A debate means you're giving people a say, which is not the idea at all. The Chinese government doesn't feel obliged to justify their reasoning with the common man. After all, the common man may just end up disagreeing, which would create a sizable problem for the government, and create a large inefficiency in their operations. After all, it's always harder, more time consuming, and more costly to get anything done with people protesting your actions.

Re:Jailing Dissidents is Stupid. (4, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 6 years ago | (#21343411)

Heck, even the dimmest rural Chinese citizen knows well the failings of the system (probably from bitter personal experience).

That requires them to have a basis for comparison (ie, what it's like elsewhere). Additionally, not knowing all of the things happening to other people across the country also helps the establishment.

The Chinese have historically done a very good job of censorship. When I was an undergrad I worked in a research group that was 80% Chinese, including a number of visiting scholars who were educated entirely in China. A bunch of us started talking about our respective countries once, and Tienman (sp?) Square came up. One of the Chinese scholars had never heard of it, and didn't believe it could have possibly occurred (understandably). A few of us found some articles on it, which he read. He was visibly shaken as he realized the things his country did while lying to the people. So believe me, they're very good propagandists.

Re:Jailing Dissidents is Stupid. (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21343735)

That requires them to have a basis for comparison (ie, what it's like elsewhere). Additionally, not knowing all of the things happening to other people across the country also helps the establishment.

The Chinese have historically done a very good job of censorship. When I was an undergrad I worked in a research group that was 80% Chinese, including a number of visiting scholars who were educated entirely in China. A bunch of us started talking about our respective countries once, and Tienman (sp?) Square came up. One of the Chinese scholars had never heard of it, and didn't believe it could have possibly occurred (understandably). A few of us found some articles on it, which he read. He was visibly shaken as he realized the things his country did while lying to the people. So believe me, they're very good propagandists.
I have a lot of cousins there and visit frequently. They are aware they are being lied to but aren't aware what the lies exactly are. So it's very insidious. There is a prevailing cynicism but it's non specific. They assume every government does this as well. So they have a slightly skewed view of the world. Although I truly wish their cynicism was more widespread over here as well. The west is much better all around but some of the news sources are almost the same sort of editorial propaganda.

Re:Jailing Dissidents is Stupid. (2, Interesting)

Burz (138833) | more than 6 years ago | (#21344513)

From the Australian ambassador to China, [ucla.edu] of that period:

Why someone who had suffered cruelly at the hands of Cultural Revolution hardliners and who did so much to push China on the path of liberalization should himself become a hardliner is not explained. Even less does anyone seem to have felt any need to check out just what actually happened in Tiananmen in 1989. Eyewitness accounts that say there was no massacre have been conveniently ignored. Blatantly anti-Beijing propaganda accounts have been unquestioningly accepted. Fortunately we now have a source whose sober impartiality cannot possibly be doubted, namely the de-classified reports from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing at the time (see Google under Tiananmen, Document 30 especially).

They confirm that there was no massacre in the square, that almost all the students who had been demonstrating there for two weeks had left the square quietly in the early hours of June 4, and that the real incident was panicky fighting triggered by crowds attacking troops, initially unarmed, as they headed for the square on June 3.

In the process a still indefinite number of troops, students and civilians were killed and many military vehicles were torched. Call it a mini civil war if you like, with troops eventually getting the upper hand over unarmed insurgents. But that is not a deliberate massacre of innocent students.

Curiously, the photo that most media use to illustrate the alleged student massacre shows a row of blazing army vehicles, some with crews trapped inside, in a long avenue that clearly is not part of Tiananmen Square. Indeed, the U.S. Embassy material speaks of troops only finally entering the square after some students attacked and killed a soldier in a vehicle at the entrance.
Most of the discussion you see here is doctrinaire (freedom, liberty, freedom, etc.) oligarch propaganda. The media-owning conglomerates/monopolists send their ready-made legislation and paid-for legislators to Washington, and what you see on TV is the party line that is to be toed.

"Oligarchy", now there is a label you basically never hear in the USA media even though it is the economic-political structure under which it operates. Journalists and activists who use it inside the borders get character-assassinated, whereas those who use it in foreign protectorates like Columbia and Philippines get murdered by US-supported "guerrillas" (terrorists). Meanwhile, the USA mouthpiece media wants you to see another of Bush's speeches linking Queda to 9-11, and another rehash about two murdered Russian journalists, and Tiananmen too; and you will still hear much about communism even though it supposedly doesn't exist anymore. But not oligarchy. Even "capitalism" is curiously infrequent, as self-examination of the system is discouraged.

What is the true difference between the USA and rivals like China and Russia? It boils down to USA enjoying the spoils of empire, creating political apathy officially labeled "peace and lawfulness" at home... while people on the frontiers burn and starve and those elements that not friendly to the military-industrial-legislative complex get drugs trafficked into their communities and a draconian "zero-tolerance" police state apparatus that sends more adult males to prison than any other country by far.

China is resource-strapped, hungry and crowded to the gills (though they can be thankful that US/UK forces have not fed their population drugs for many decades). And Russia has a waning civil war on its hands. Neither of them has had the luxury of sending their scoundrels abroad to rape and pillage, while playing potemkin village at home, for quite some time. And what makes either of them much different than India, for that matter, is beyond me... human rights violations abound with respect to all of the above.

What differs above all is the combination of selective blindness and hysteria generated in the pivotal Anglophone media. It will be interesting to see how their attitude changes as their influence abroad subsides... how much more cheerleading and demonizing will they be willing to do for the next conquest (er "liberation")?

Re:Jailing Dissidents is Stupid. (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 6 years ago | (#21344879)

You don't need a basis for comparison when one can generate their ideal world in their head and make that ideal world the basis for comparison. We have a phrase that somewhat covers it to some degree - lies, damned lies, and statistics. I'll leave it as an exercise to you to figure out what I mean.

Happy Festivus! (1)

UdoKeir (239957) | more than 6 years ago | (#21342581)

This is that card [blogs.com] that Yahoo! will be sending to those families.

Bad Precident (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21342621)

Yahoo just admitted that knowledge is forbidden fruit, and the governments of the world should control its distribution.

The Government Icon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21342669)

I've just noticed that your government icon is out of date by about 224 years [wikipedia.org]

Not for China and Yahoo. (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 6 years ago | (#21342969)

Mind that the feudal system is merely just being reintroduced for China, and Yahoo for allowing stockholders (not to be confused with mutual fund holders) divine right over human rights.

I don't get it... (1)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 6 years ago | (#21342773)

Surely, by them starting a fund for dissidents, they are effectively aiding and abetting dissidents, how will that not get china attacking htem?

Osama (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21342939)

I wonder if they will help Osama and his family? after all by they own words "provide 'humanitarian relief' to support dissidents and their families"

one mans freedom fighter and all that...

Yahoo Apology: (3, Funny)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21343003)

Dear sir or madam,

We apologize sincerely for aiding in your arrest and torture. We at yahoo do not agree with reasons given for your arrest but they offered us a lot of money. Please accept this Yahoo branded T-shirt, coffee mug, nose plug, cyanide pill and Testicle NumCream TM. I hope they will make your incarceration more bearable. We have also made a small donation in your name to Amnesty International. We know you would appreciate that.

Regards

Jerry Yang

I listened to some of the hearings on CSPAN... (1)

Protoslo (752870) | more than 6 years ago | (#21343127)

In some committee meeting where they were discussing the Global Online Freedom Act (not the actual Yahoo hearings), one of the congressmen mentioned those very conditions enumerated in the summary as what he thought would constitute an acceptable settlement. Perhaps Yahoo hopes that by giving in, they won't pass the Act?

In other news... (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 6 years ago | (#21343139)

The family of Shi Tao was reported to have been paid the cost of the execution and the current value of his organs.

did wired.com get slashdotted?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21343345)

surely this must be a mistake

HTTP Status 410 -


type Status report

message :

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Forced Labour Is Good For The Soul (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#21343659)

Support Yahoo. Send a dissident to camp.

Please Explain (2, Insightful)

TooMad (967091) | more than 6 years ago | (#21344309)

What is the difference between the Chinese government forcing any telecommunications company, search engine, or whatever to give up consumer data and the US government doing the same thing sometimes without even a warrant? Or a business filing a subpoena because some anonymous person posted bad things about their company/products and they want to punish them? I suppose it is ok because anyone we do this to is obviously a terrorist and wrong so it is ok. While anyone any other 'axis of evil' country does this to is oppressing them.

Re:Please Explain (1)

sydneyfong (410107) | more than 6 years ago | (#21348761)

Because the western countries, USA in particular, are all worked up when the magic words "Tienanmen Square" appear.

The first principles are:
#1 Anybody who sides with the Communists are evil
#2 Anybody who sides with the dissidents are heroes

The rest follows.

Due process? But no! -- you're supporting an evil, evil regime!!!
What's more, you're complying with law!! What a horrible, horrible thought!!

I mean, I never really sensed a high regard for the rule of law in America (not that there's any in China though), but it still surprises me that Yahoo is being slapped all over for complying with the law.

It's just media hype, and all you people are falling for it. Almost two decades after Tienanmen Square and the western media still has wet dreams on it. Look, most people in China has passed the issue and has moved on. It's OK to bitch about the current human rights situation in China which leaves much to be desired, but beating this dead horse would be like teasing the Americans for electing a chimp into office twenty years later. I mean, what do you want the Chinese government to do? Revive the dead?

The whole recurring Tienanmen thing is just a ploy by the western media/governments to impose the illusion that your own country is "free" and "democratic" by pointing fingers at someone else. By shifting the focus to this media G-spot, they get you all hyped up and excited so you won't notice your own rights slowly eroding.

It makes you miss the real pressing issues in China too. Censorship is one. I know some people bitched when Google, Yahoo, etc. filtered some searches upon request by the Chinese govt, but then they didn't hold a hearing in the USA with a politician slapping the Yahoo execs with "pygmies". (I'm sure the Chinese would love some monetary compensation with the "reduced quality" searches.) Now they've revived a 3 year old case (the Yahoo incident happened in 2004), on a 18 year old event, and everybody is pointing fingers at Yahoo just to make themselves look good.

It's nothing more than Paris Hilton gossip in the politics world.

Secret, eh? (2, Funny)

MiniMike (234881) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346195)

> Terms of the deal are secret,

I bet you'll find them on Google...

Not really the issue (1, Informative)

randyjg (443274) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346365)

It is a little more complicated than everyone seems to think.

The basic fact of the matter is Yahoo is an American company, operating multinationally. As an American company, or, as any non governmental individual or organization, Yahoo does not have the right, let alone the obligation, to act unilaterally in any matter concerning a foreign entity, state or otherwise. That is the responsibility of the State department.

Obviously, the State department does not have the resources to respond to every issue that a multinational encounters, but, in this case, there were guidelines as to proper procedures to follow when such a request from a foreign entity was made. Procedures that Yahoo did not follow.

It would be nice if the issues were a simple good versus evil type, but they are not. The US's relations with China are incredibly complicated, and they are all intertwined. It is not as if morality always takes the last place in considerations, when the moral issues are big enough, the US has a long history of overriding economic issues in favor of morality, ranging from Northern mills giving up southern cotton in the American civil war to the smoking and global warming initiatives of the next administration.

In this case, the State department would have had to weigh the welfare of one foreign national against that of a large number of American citizens. I do not know what State would have decided, but I do know the State department is really not obligated to consider the welfare of non Americans; the whole point of a government is that it is responsible to and for it's own citizens, only. The proper decision on how to handle the request was the one that was in the best interests of America, not of Yahoo, Yahoo stockholders, or any other parties involved, foreign or domestic. It would be a tough call, even without Yahoo deciding to get into the game without knowing all the rules.

So, Yahoo screwed up. It happens. They are trying to do their best to at least take responsibility and clean up as much of the mess they caused as they can, I am so very proud of them for that. If Yahoo gets some good publicity from that, so much the better, encouraging companies not to hide behind lawyers when they make a mistake is probably one of America's most important social goals.

P.S. As an amateur institutional economist and sinologist, I do feel obligated to point out that there are several misconceptions about China in the responses here.

First of all China does not repress dissent at a village level; it can't, the population is far too large for that. Heck, they can't even keep a lid on corrupt manufacturers, and thats a lot easier task. What China does is something slightly different. Chinese are allowed to dissent at a village level, all they want. The Chinese are not a particularly tame people, their contempt for their leadership is traditional, just like here in America. The Chinese people can even organize (which is NOT the same as dissent), up to a village level. The Chinese government considers that a harmless (relatively) way of releasing the tensions that are inherent in any political situation. It is also one less group of people they have to micromanage. It is not like anyone is going to listen and obey without the use of force, anyways, the Chinese traditionally ignore their government's wishes as much as they can, again, just like here in America.

Beyond that, however, China suppresses organized dissent, very hard. When you consider that, even at that small level of freedom, riots involving 80,000 or more Chinese are common, you can pretty much understand China's reasons for those policies; those riots, historically, have been very destructive. As a matter of fact, in Chinese history, many times those riots have spread, and millions of Chinese have died. Right now, practically everyone is predicting a major set of riots next September, after the 2008 Olympics. A lot of what you are seeing right now is the Chinese government trying to make sure it doesn't happen earlier, they have given up trying to stop it from happening at all.

The second misconception is that China is this big homogeneous country, sorta like a much larger version of the US. China has been invaded many times in the past, and the resulting area called "China" is actually a collection of countries and cultures, and they do not play well with others, a lot of China most resembles the early days of the American Wild West, or perhaps the gang dominated cultures of America's poorer neighborhoods. The Chinese governments main task is to try and hold everything together, by force if necessary. Sometimes they screw up. A lot of what people see as malevolence is actually just incompetence.

Re:Not really the issue (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#21346607)

So, Yahoo screwed up. It happens. They are trying to do their best to at least take responsibility and clean up as much of the mess they caused as they can, I am so very proud of them for that. If Yahoo gets some good publicity from that, so much the better, encouraging companies not to hide behind lawyers when they make a mistake is probably one of America's most important social goals.


We don't know the nature of the settlement, so Yahoo is still not coming clean. They're just trying to keep Congress pacified.

Yahoo is still the scum-sucking, freedom-loathing, sell-out, tyrant profiteering corporation it was yesterday.

Yahizzle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21346425)

Boss: Sorry, Luke. I'm just doing my job. You gotta appreciate that.
Luke: Nah - calling it your job don't make it right, Boss.
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