Yahoo! Accused of Providing China with Information to Jail Reporter
Yahoo! and other companies, including Microsoft, providing e-mail, search engine, and browser support add-ons have been accused in recent months of seeking access to the enormous Chinese market by acquiescing to censorship and other content restriction requirements of the Chinese government, which has recently become more aggressive in curtailing use of and access to the Internet and in censoring television and other broadcast media content that challenge state-mandated cultural values.
Yahoo! recently paid US$1 billion to acquire a 40% stake in Alibaba.com, which is China's largest online commerce company.
Pravda reports that Yahoo! has declined to comment on the allegations by Reporters without Borders because it has yet to fully review the report by the advocacy group.
Should those allegations against Yahoo! prove accurate, three recommendations are in order:
To be indifferent to the complicity of an American company in the imprisonment of a reporter of any country is to allow further challenges to and erosion of individual rights to privacy and freedom of the press worldwide. Ultimately, every journalist in the world is endangered by the actions of corporations that are willing to surrender the rights of individuals for profitable opportunities.
For bloggers to ignore this emerging threat is to stand willing to be victims one day of similar actions, which might occur not in a socially repressive, free-market country like China, but in a far closer but equally socially repressive, free-market country.
The Dark Wraith has spoken.