Yahoo is getting slammed right now for giving up the name of a dissident who sent a memo warning journalists to not write about the Tiananmen Square anniversary. Shi Tao was jailed for 10 years for his pro-democracy efforts when Yahoo lawfully passed along his activity information to Chinese Authrorities. Now Jerry Yang, Yahoo’s CEO, is getting lambasted by the US congress.
I have a number of issues with all of this:
1) Yahoo conplied with a lawful order. Lawful is the key word here, because as anyone who has been to China knows law in China is a matter of who you know. You can get away with murder if you know the right people.
2) Congress bashes on Yahoo stating “While technologically and financially you are giants, morally you are pygmies” From congress for fuck sakes! If I was Jerry Yang’s counsel I would tell congress to shove it up their collective asses. If they are so righteous then they should stop trading with China, boycott the Olympics and put their money where their mouths are!
China is the world’s single largest consumer market and what company doesn’t want to be a part of that. And for the employees in China. What choice do they have? The government could come after them next.
Republican Chris Smith suggests, “U.S. companies must hold the line and not work hand in glove with the secret police.” A noble sentiment, but what is congress going to do to help them? Besides provide more money for the war in Iraq…
What was that about moral pygmies?