Lawsuit Blasts Yahoo For Role in Chinese Arrests and Torture

Yahoo is again under fire for turning over Internet records to the Chinese government, action that resulted in the imprisonment and torture of political dissidents in that country, according to a human rights lawsuit filed this week. The lawsuit claims that Yahoo is in violation of federal and international laws against torture and other forms of political persecution. Yahoo officials have acknowledged sharing user data with the Chinese government, arguing that Yahoo employees are required to obey local laws in China to avoid facing civil and criminal charges. Plaintiffs in the case include jailed Chinese dissident Wang Xiaoning and his wife, Yu Ling.

The World Organization for Human Rights USA is seeking unspecified damages and a court order to bar Yahoo from further cooperation with Chinese authorities. Officials for the Washington DC-based rights organization released a statement calling for U.S. companies to refrain from "participating actively in promoting and encouraging major human rights abuses."

News source: DailyTech

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6 Comments

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Yahoo (just like AOL) goes out of their way to backstab their own members. They are more than eager to help governments vs. customer privacy.


Currency always wins over human rights, sadly. Maybe when the world decides it doesn't need Chinese products any more this will come to an end.

Obeying the local laws is a consequence of doing business in a country, but its also no excuse to break the laws in other countries or international law. I hope the local and federal lawsuits succeed; they certainly should. Having to obey local Chinese law is no exception to break any law, let alone laws banning torture.

Furthermore, international treaties (which both China and the US have signed, among nearly every other nation) have made it illegal to commit torture in any country. Most of these treaties were signed in the aftermath of WW2, but there has been significant expansion since then as well.

Obviously, there is no excuse whatsoever in committing torture, or in being complicit in committing torture. If Yahoo! had any reason to believe that these people would be tortured, they violated just about every level of law known to the Western world.

Yahoo employees are required to obey local laws in China to avoid facing civil and criminal charges.

Damned if you do, damned if you dont. Yahoo's China branch has to obey the laws in China.

Any info on what these people were imprisoned for, and how any user information on Yahoo would have helped convict them? The whole situation seems strange to me.

It's China. Do anything that the government deems "bad" and they demand your life. It's why most free democratic websites in China are blocked. It's very sad.