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Monday, June 5, 2006

UK Journalists Call For Yahoo! Boycott

Posted by @ 6:23 pm

A union representing journalists in the United Kingdom and in Ireland has called on its members to boycott Yahoo! in protest over Yahoo!’s conduct in China. Yahoo!’s cooperation with the Chinese government has allegedly resulted in the jailing of Chinese pro-democracy writers and journalists.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ), which represents approximately 40,000 British and Irish journalists, photographers, editors and illustrators, has asked its members to boycott all Yahoo! services until Yahoo! “changes its irresponsible and unethical policy.”

Yahoo! has provided information to Chinese law enforcement agencies about at least three people who were later jailed. Most recently, a journalist called Shi Tao was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for “divulging state secrets” after forwarding an government email warning journalists not to cover the Tiananmen Square anniversary.

Yahoo! boss Terry Semel has previously stated that Yahoo! had no other choice than to comply with Chinese law and was not in a position where the company could influence or change Chinese policy. However, he stated that Yahoo! was looking to the US government to provide assistance in convincing China of the need for more freedom of speech and media freedom.

A spokesperson for Yahoo!, Mary Osako, reacted to the union’s call for a boycott by releasing a statement that included the following comments: “When we receive a demand from law enforcement authorized under the law of the country in which we operate, we must comply. … Failure to comply in China could have subjected Yahoo! China and its employees to criminal charges, including imprisonment. Ultimately, U.S. companies in China face a choice: comply with Chinese law, or leave.”

“The choice in China or other countries is not whether to comply with law enforcement demands for information. Rather, the choice is whether or not to remain in a country. We balance the requirement to comply with laws that are not necessarily consistent with our own values against our strong belief that active involvement in China contributes to the continued modernization of the country – as well as a benefit to Chinese citizens – through the advancement of communications, commerce and access to information.”

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Discussion (6 - comments)

Shame on Yahoo! They could leave the country but instead they stay and give information pretending they didn’t have any choice.BS!!!What is more important? to keep your integrity and protect your own people or to send them to jail pretending providing easier communication to a country who doesnt respect the human rights?
What money can make people do is disgusting and I just want to puke! No moral, no ethic, no principles, no guts!

By Anonymous - June 6, 2006

Living in a country where freedom of speech is taken for granted, I sometimes forget the sacrifices that had to be made for me to have that freedom. Similar sacrifices are being made in China by the journalists who publish against the current laws of that country. They know the risk and choose to publish the information. Although valliant, the consequences of those choices are sacrifices made by the journalists to help improve that country.

Yahoo’s presence is helping bring China’s citizens into the 21st century. I find it hard to believe that anyone in China, including the reporters that were arrested, would want Yahoo to leave the country in protest. They did what they were supposed to do. Freedom of speech does not yet exist in China, and it would be foolish for us to blame Yahoo for following the law and remaining where they can do the most good.

By Curtis - June 6, 2006

Yahoo’s cowardly, groveling, transparent greed is beyond pathetic. To pretend they can’t refuse the almighty communist Chinese government is the most childish level of corporate irresponsibility I’ve ever seen.

The ‘modernization’ of China is already far beyond the tipping point and soon, if not already, the ChiComm government won’t be able to control information anyway.

It’s blatant pandering patronization for Yahoo to claim some altruistic motive in remaining there for the ‘good of the Chinese people.’ BS!!!! WHO DOES YAHOO THINK THEY ARE FOOLING WITH THIS LINE OF CRAP?

It would be far better PR for Yahoo and would win the respect and long-term loyalty of freedom-lovers all over the globe if they would stand up to the ChiComms on principle and defend the basic human right of free speech. THAT would benefit the Chinese people far more than banner ads and sanitized web searches.

Welcome to modern American Liberalism and its dogma of situational ethics.

By Ben Williams - June 6, 2006

Don’t be surprised! There just one reason $$$, so don’t waste your time asking to Yahoo keep a ethic behavior, also avoid talk about “democracy” because within everybody blame another country, we loss the opportunity for ask our governments for real freedom!
It’s easy see the errors in another part, but rarely we found errors in our own side.

By Nocturno - June 6, 2006

Why are we surprised? George “Dubya” is taking away all of our freedoms RIGHT HERE IN AMERICA and our Congress is going right along with him. You can no longer pick up your telephone and call someone and not think big brother is listening. More and more surveillance is being brought upon our own citizens in the name of “Terrorism”. And dubya and his group are eating it up. You have to know that for everything we KNOW they are doing, there is 100 times more that they are doing that we are yet unaware of. Bush has become the Dictator of America and we are too stupid to see it. I would worry about what is happening in THIS country TOO if I were you. They are using the guise of the child porn subject to validate anything and everything they want to do with no reason to suspect normal law abiding citizens. The entire world is out of control like a runaway train and no one seems to notice.

By Anonymous - June 6, 2006

As for me, to hell with Yahoo! The only choice is to leave China, then watch things change. Until they do, I’m boycotting Yahoo! JJ

By Anonymous - June 6, 2006

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