Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Revenge of the robber barons!

Didn't I just read this story last week, and the week before? It appears that Yahoo now stands knee deep in gutless greed, as Reporters Without Borders has accused the company of complying with the Chinese government's program of cracking down on dissident political speech on the Internet, according to CNN.

Reporters Without Borders said in statement that Yahoo provided customer data to the Chinese government on several occasions, including in the 2003 case of Li Zhi, who was jailed for "inciting subversion."

Li had been arrested previously in 2002 for posting in online discussion groups about the corruption of local officials, according to the statement.

"[Yahoo] says it simply responds to requests from the authorities for data without ever knowing what it will be used for. But this argument no longer holds water," said the statement. "Yahoo certainly knew it was helping to arrest political dissidents and journalists, not just ordinary criminals."

The activist group called for Yahoo to release the names of all people it has provided data on, pointing to a Reporters Without Borders list of 81 people who were allegedly jailed for speech violations.

Yahoo has previously faced criticism. Shi Tao, another dissident was jailed for 10 years in April 2005 after the Internet company allegedly supplied data about him to the government.

Yahoo is not the only corporate sell-out assisting the communist government.

Google has also faced charges of complicity overs its blockage of search terms the Chinese government deems unacceptable.

Yahoo, Google, Microsoft and Cisco Systems all declined to attend a Feb. 1 briefing before the Congressional Human Rights Caucus about the role of U.S. business in Chinese Internet Censorship.

Whether it's screwing employees out of pensions or screwing dissidents of their freedom, corporate irresponsibility is a growing epidemic. That's not to brand all of big business as corrupt, but some of today's financial giants are doing their best to give capitalism a bad name.

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