I’ve written before of my “displeasure” with Yahoo. I stopped supporting them when they blatantly stole $5 from me and couldn’t make their technology work to acknowledge that they owed me another $5. Through my experience with Yahoo, I learned that I will abandon a company for $10. The real amount is probably lower, but Yahoo made me understand that the minimum is no higher than $10. Stupid companies should figure this out, because $10, and I would’ve settled for the $5 Yahoo promised to repay, is a ridiculous amount to keep to lose a customer. But Yahoo is perpetually stupid and I take glee in their disasters.
This story does not offer me glee; it offers pure outrage. Consider:
Internet giant Yahoo has been accused of supplying information to China which led to the jailing of a journalist for “divulging state secrets”.
Reporters Without Borders said Yahoo’s Hong Kong arm helped China link Shi Tao’s e-mail account and computer to a message containing the information.
Shi Tao, 37, worked for the Contemporary Business News in Hunan province, before he was arrested and sentenced in April to 10 years in prison.
According to a translation of his conviction, reproduced by Reporters Without Borders, he was found guilty of sending foreign-based websites the text of an internal Communist Party message.
Reporters Without Borders said the message warned journalists of the dangers of social unrest resulting from the return of dissidents on the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, in June 2004.
Yahoo can’t find any record that I canceled a trial membership, despite the confirmation I received, yet it can link Shi Tao to an e-mail about the dangers of social unrest and provide that link to prosecutors, which the Chinese government deems a crime worthy of ten years in prison? Yes, they’re in China so they must obey the laws. But doesn’t this travesty raise the more basic question of whether or not Yahoo should be in China while the communist government continues to oppress its people, at the expense of what should be a basic principle for a company founded around the Internet? Unbelievable. I guess the
dollar yuan is mightier than principle.