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Yahoo helps jail Chinese dissident

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I can't believe I missed this story last week. I saw it briefly but thought it was akin to the Google story - I had no idea that Yahoo literally helped throw a Chinese pro-democracy dissident in jail.

U.S. Internet companies faced fresh bipartisan criticism in the Congress on Thursday following heightened controversy over Yahoo Inc.'s alleged role in the Chinese government's eight-year prison sentence against a second dissident.
To fully comprehend how bad this is, look at the statements from Yahoo's spokeswoman:
"The choice in China and other countries is not whether to comply with local laws. The choice is whether to remain in the country or not," Osaka said. "We have a philosophy of engagement. We believe the Internet is a positive force."
Well, actually, the choice was whether to become the enforcement arm of a totalitarian regime, choosing to throw innocent political prisoners in jail in exchange for hard cash, you witch.
"We only responded with what we were legally compelled to provide and nothing more," Osako said. "We had a vigorous process in place to make sure that only required material was provided," she said.
Oh, so you mean Yahoo only turned over the information that the totalitarian dictatorship requested, no more. So Yahoo didn't gratuitously turn in the dissident's mother too? Gosh, how kind of you. Maybe we ought to give Yahoo the Nobel for that one.

What Yahoo is saying is that if they were around during WWII, Yahoo would have helped Adolf Hitler because there were laws on the books backing up Hitler's policies - and spare me the "don't say Nazi" crap, we are talking about communist China, it's the same thing, Yahoo is saying they will obey any law passed by a dictatorship, no exceptions, so long as they can do business in the country. Yahoo would have no problem with helping kill people in Darfur? No problem working with Iran and North Korea to trap dissidents, maybe even trap American spies and American soldiers? Would Yahoo do that if local law required it (and the law most certainly would)?

According to Yahoo's spokesman, if a fast buck is involved, Yahoo will turn in anyone to the state, so long as local law - laws written by the dictatorship themselves - say that Yahoo has to.

Absolutely disgusting.

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