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November 02, 2007


Yunan Yuan

"Rather, senior Yahoo! executives who can't read Chinese were badly briefed by local employees who do read Chinese." How can we achieve effective communication across long physical distance and cultural barrier? You would think multinational companies should've made more collaborate effort to tackle this problem, a long time ago...but apparently not.

Mike H.

I'm left wondering, and maybe I missed this if it already came up, what the Yahoo! team would have done differently if they had known the nature of the investigation going in.

Hasn't Yahoo!'s stance consistently been "if the government asks, we have to tell because that's how we'll continue to be able to do business in China"?

I don't use anything Yahoo! produces. I killed my flickr & del.icio.us accounts because my sense of Yahoo!'s stance has been that the company is unrepentant in any way that will make a difference for the people it is effectively informing on. That's a bummer -- I liked those services -- but it was more of a bummer to think that my $20 annual flickr fee was enriching a company that does what Yahoo! has been doing, then defends its right to abet oppression on First Amendment grounds.

So I've been watching as all this unfolds, and the deciding factor to me will be Yahoo!'s own policies. The fact that so much is being made of what the company knew implies to me that it would have acted differently given different knowledge. That doesn't square with my understanding up to this point.

Clue me in?


Eh? I find this completely dubious. From the above we know that Yahoo! knew that the Chinese were investigating a leaking of state secrets case, but not the exact details. However, when Yahoo! handed over Shi Tao's details they surely would have been able to see the content of the emails and therefore would have known that what Shi Tao sent to pro-democracy groups wasn't really the equivalent of releasing the minutiae of China's latest nuclear weapon technology. Let's retain a sense of proportionality here, something which Shi Tao's 10 year sentence does not!!!!! Come on Rebecca, call yourself a journalist?! It's surely no coincidence that this info has been highlighted now, a week before the hearing. It's a PR trick designed to take the sting out of next week's barrage of criticism. Yahoo! went into China knowing the lay of the land. After all, surely you remember those cries of 'it's better for Chinese freedom of speech that we're there than not'. For Yahoo! to turn round now and say it didn't have suspicions that some poor person was about to be subjected to some severe, over-the-mark judicial penalty when it received a request from the Chinese authorities for information on a member of the public is completely disingenuous.

William Keeler

Yahoo is also giving out the names and addresses of others who use message boards in violation of public privacy. Re: Gerald W Haddock vs John Doe's 1-25, 153rd District Court, Tarrant County, Texas. I suggest that their release of private information regarding this case also be included in the Congresional investigation of Yahoo for the China incident. Our privacy laws must be respected and freedom of speech must prevail. I've made this request to a Senator from Texas but have received no response. I expect Yahoo will release my name and address regarding this meassage.

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