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Print 31 comment(s) - last by masher2.. on Apr 4 at 12:56 PM

The jailed Chinese writer, Shi Tao, former editor of Contemporary Business News, was sent to jail in April 2005

Yahoo may be heading to court because it allegedly turned over information to the Chinese government about a journalist who was leaking state secrets.  A lawmaker in Hong Kong has turned over documents to Hong Kong's Office of the Privacy Commission for Person Data in regards to Yahoo possibly having a hand in getting a journalist jailed for 10 years.  Albert Ho, along with a representative from Tao's family, filed the complaint claiming Yahoo violated a Hong Kong personal data privacy ordinance because the company turned over information to the government.  Zhang Yu, the representative for the Tao family, said that the family is considering possible court action.  According to Forbes:

'We believe what (Yahoo) did was illegal so we are considering taking Yahoo to court,' Zhang told reporters, adding that Yahoo had refused to discuss the matter with him.

Search engine companies have been having an interesting time trying to operate within China's borders:  Google is still receiving criticism for agreeing to censor material, and the reason Yahoo is under fire was just discussed.



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it's all bullshit
By KashGarinn on 4/3/2006 8:53:08 AM , Rating: 3
He didn't leak state secrets, it's all a complete load of bullcrap.

He found out via gossip who the next general was supposed to be before they announced it, that's all.

And he gets 10 years for that. Now that's what you call excessive paranoia against civilians and the right to speak.

Yahoo deserves to be sued over this, they're so in the wrong to hand over information in this case that it isn't even funny.

K.




RE: it's all bullshit
By dmcanally on 4/3/2006 10:19:31 AM , Rating: 2
That surprises you? This is how China has been throughout history. Even before their communist switch. They have always had a repressive government. That aside, US law and morals is not Chinese law and morals. If a people don’t like being slaves to the state they can always revolt. Violently if need be. History proves this time and time again. Please don’t think we are special because we live in the 21st century.


RE: it's all bullshit
By masher2 (blog) on 4/3/2006 10:31:02 AM , Rating: 2
> "If a people don’t like being slaves to the state they can always revolt..."

They tried that once-- and Mao wound up killing more people than Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot and Idi Amin combined.


RE: it's all bullshit
By fsardis on 4/3/2006 11:31:54 AM , Rating: 1
sorry to say this, but what kind of morons are you?

the article is very shy of information and here you are drawing conclusions about the chinese government and their decisions. how do you know what the guy did? how do you know if he did it or didnt do it? the article doesnt mention any details.
on top of that you come quickly to the rescue of the american government because you have apparently an inferiority complex. who told you that your government doesnt do the same shit and propaganda? who told you that your government doesnt censor the journalists?
how about you make a little search on the internet and find out how your uncle Bush covered up the friendly fire and civilian casualties in the war in Iraq?
how about you make a little seach on the internet about the english troop that had no firendly fire until they joined up with the yanks. but noooooooo, Bush is too smart to let the rednecks know about this. and so the rednecks think they live in the perfect country and the rest of the world is in the stone age.
Americans.... why do i even bother? Only a trip outside your own country will open up your eyes but thats taken care of by stupid legends that claim europe has slaves as a redneck once told me.


RE: it's all bullshit
By dilz on 4/3/2006 11:49:10 AM , Rating: 3
Sure, most of this discussion is speculative. It's important to realize that this is a tech website, not a peer-edited scholarly journal on international affairs. To the extent that this story is tech-related, discussion of the Chinese government has come to fore.

Surely, most of us realize that even the America media has undergone significant change during the last decade. Judith Miller, anyone? If you consider this an "apples to apples" comparison of governments acting out against their domestic journalists, then sure, we're no better than any other government, but I think your comments are too vague by implying that the CPC is, in general terms and at a basic level, somehow similar to the "Bush monarchy/appearance of checks and balances" system. That sir(?), is flatly incorrect. Call me a "moron" if you will... Insults always solve discussions! Yay!


RE: it's all bullshit
By masher2 (blog) on 4/3/2006 12:23:20 PM , Rating: 3
> "what kind of morons are you? "

In your own particular case, the content of your post answers that question rather clearly.

> "how do you know what the guy did? ...the article doesnt mention any details..."

Because I was familiar with this case well before Dailytech reported upon it, obviously. Furthermore, I've been to mainland China several times, and know many people from there.

> "who told you that your government doesnt do the same shit and propaganda? "

How many journalists in the US are rotting in jail today for speaking out against the government? How many US students wound up having their organs harvested for attending a protest meeting? How many US newspapers receive weekly orders from the federal government, telling them specifically what to print and what to censor?

Every nation engages in propaganda to some degree or another. Intelligent people realize the degree is relevant.

China is a brutal, oppressive government. Anyone comparing it to the US or any other Western Government is a misinformed child.




RE: it's all bullshit
By dilz on 4/3/2006 11:35:33 AM , Rating: 2
Masher, are you a Poli Sci major, or just an informed citizen? It's rare that I see anyone who knows what they're talking about when it comes to IR...

China has had an obsession with "homeland security" for centuries. Technology has made life difficult for the Communist Party of China, and civil rights by Western standards simply do not exist - think "Future Versions of the PATRIOT Act." It is unfortunate that Yahoo has been implicated in the detention of this journalist. The long-term view is that as more technology is infused into China, the CPC's power will gradually erode - resulting in gradual change to the structure of the government, and eventual "freedom."

As for Yahoo, I know little of international law, but you should know that corporations are under no obligation to act morally. They would rather maintain what market share they have than to be stonewalled by the CPC.

If people are genuinely concerned about the state of affairs in China, they can vote with their wallets and boycott all Chinese goods. That may be difficult to do these days, but if thousands of ambigiously illegal immigrants can get the attention of our government, we as consumers can certainly send a message to Chinese industry (and subsequently, government) if we really want to.


RE: it's all bullshit
By Sunbird on 4/3/2006 12:15:49 PM , Rating: 2
Masher2 is the most intelligent and informed poster on this here site.

We are clamoring for his informed opinions in the StarForce story comments, but our cries have gone unanswered so far :(


RE: it's all bullshit
By masher2 (blog) on 4/3/2006 12:31:05 PM , Rating: 2
> "China has had an obsession with "homeland security" for centuries. Technology has made life difficult for the Communist Party of China, and civil rights by Western standards simply do not exist - think "Future Versions of the PATRIOT Act."

Agreed on all counts.

> "The long-term view is that as more technology is infused into China, the CPC's power will gradually erode..."

An alternate view is that the Internet will enable the PRC to tighten monitoring and central control of its citizens. Personally, I think yours is the more likely scenario...but I can see it going either way.

As for backlash against Yahoo, I agree its unfortunate. A corporation has a responsibility to act legally, not ethically. In cases where the two conflict, they have no choice but to follow the letter of the law.




RE: it's all bullshit
By dilz on 4/3/2006 6:16:24 PM , Rating: 2
I have not been to China, but I know a few ex-pats who live there. In one case, the only thing that the Chinese government had done to "block" websites was to disable DNS for offensive sites... So, when she wanted to get CNN.com, I told her to use "64.236.29.120" instead, and everything was gravy.


RE: it's all bullshit
By dilz on 4/3/2006 6:17:11 PM , Rating: 2
This was a reply to Masher.....


RE: it's all bullshit
By masher2 (blog) on 4/3/2006 7:40:37 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting...do you happen to know what part of the country this was? A few months ago, I spoke with someone from Tianjin who swore traffic at his location was blocked totally.


RE: it's all bullshit
By dilz on 4/4/2006 12:25:48 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure, but I'll get back to you about it. If I had to make a guess, I'd say she was in Beijing.


RE: it's all bullshit
By Min Jia on 4/4/2006 3:58:02 AM , Rating: 2
Tianjing is 120 km from Beijing. I go there all the time.


RE: it's all bullshit
By masher2 (blog) on 4/4/2006 9:03:26 AM , Rating: 2
So you can answer our question...is traffic from banned sites blocked totally, or are the sites just removed from the DNS lists?


RE: it's all bullshit
By Min Jia on 4/4/2006 12:18:31 PM , Rating: 2
Where I live, nothing is blocked.


RE: it's all bullshit
By NullSubroutine on 4/4/2006 4:29:09 AM , Rating: 2
Just so you know, you can be tried for treason for conspiring to overthrow the US goverment; all governments try to protect themselves.


RE: it's all bullshit
By jskirwin on 4/4/2006 9:55:21 AM , Rating: 2
Right - yet what do you have to do to get charged with treason in the USA?

Michael Moore makes millions producing movies that show the President as being a stooge for the Oil companies. Noam Chomsky makes millions by making stage appearances in which he calls the US the greatest threat to humanity ever. Neither one of these guys has been thrown in jail. A.N.S.W.E.R. mounts protest after protest calling for the overthrow of the elected US government.

Yet go to China, wear a yellow shirt and practice Tai-chi in a public place. See how fast you are whisked off to jail for appearing to be a member of Falun Gong.

Whenever I hear relativist BS equating China to the US I just cringe because the poster usually doesn't understand either - and BTW yes, I've been to China and lived in East Asia for years.


MM..
By tuteja1986 on 4/3/2006 3:29:14 AM , Rating: 2
I think its wrong and Chinese government shouldn't be allowed to do this type crap.. like people on death sentence become donors without the approval of the person or bulling companies to hand over confidential information. Why do even bother letting them host Olympic if the government is corrupted. Arr i got to feel sorry for the people that have to live under that type of government.




RE: MM..
By some1whoknows on 4/3/2006 4:16:28 AM , Rating: 2
Like any other government is different. He's lucky he found out how the information was leaked and that he can do something about it. Don't forget all politics is bullshit and protecting anyone’s best interests is rarely in a government agenda.

All that conspiracy theory bullshit aside maybe the guy deserved to go to prison and it was worth violating some of his civil liberties to put him away, haven't you ever seen 24? =)


RE: MM..
By Griswold on 4/3/2006 8:50:37 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
All that conspiracy theory bullshit aside maybe the guy deserved to go to prison and it was worth violating some of his civil liberties to put him away, haven't you ever seen 24? =)


Thats a rather large pile of bullshit.


RE: MM..
By masher2 (blog) on 4/3/2006 9:31:18 AM , Rating: 2
> "Like any other government is different"

Name another government that will execute you and harvest your organs for sale, just for advocating that Tibet be a free country.

Keep thinking....we'll wait.


RE: MM..
By z3R0C00L on 4/3/2006 5:21:55 PM , Rating: 2
The United States of America will lie about a potential threat (Weapons of Mass Destruction).. send you to war to be shot and killed by fellow American soldiers, embarassed, blame so-called terrorists.. ;)

Oh that really happened..;)


RE: MM..
By masher2 (blog) on 4/3/2006 7:46:43 PM , Rating: 3
Are you seriously trying to compare the Iraq War-- fought by the US with an all-volunteer force-- with the execution of political dissenters? What an incredibly crass and misinformed attitude.

You're lucky you don't actually live in China. A few critical posts, and they'd be selling your corneas and kidneys to Japanese transplant tourists.


RE: MM..
By NullSubroutine on 4/4/2006 4:27:11 AM , Rating: 2
Im pro chinese communist, I dont think they would do shit to me.


RE: MM..
By Stele on 4/3/2006 4:55:34 AM , Rating: 2
The article does mention "leaking state secrets". That's rather different from say, "expressing individualistic views" in which case I would agree with you.

Even in the US, if we started leaking state secrets I suspect the Patriot Act and a host of other legislation would produce the same effect with regards to our privacy and 'private' information - notice the exclusion clauses in user agreements everywhere with respect to disclosure to law enforcement etc etc. If it matters, one difference is that US laws are made by people Americans themselves voted into office and hence come from a 'democratic' law-making body.

With the recent controversies about what the current US administration is doing and hoping to do to citizens in the name of 'national security' and the 'war against terrorism', IMHO I'm not so sure there're that many real differences beneath the surface other than being on opposite sides of the Pacific :-/


RE: MM..
By Griswold on 4/3/2006 8:54:39 AM , Rating: 2
Do we know that there have been state secrets leaked or is that just a blatant lie to shut people up about it? Hard to tell, but considering that governments backstory, its more likely the latter than the former.

And Yahoo helping them to keep their business safe is just pathetic.


RE: MM..
By masher2 (blog) on 4/3/2006 9:44:23 AM , Rating: 5
> "I'm not so sure there're that many real differences beneath the surface other than being on opposite sides of the Pacific"

If you knew anything about China, you'd be sure. In this particular case, the facts are this. Shortly before the Tiananmen Square massacre anniversary, the Chinese Government's Central Propaganda Department (no I'm not making this up) sent a directive out to all Chinese news organizations, telling editors and reporters what could and could not be reported or discussed, along with reaffirming that all published material must "work to" correctly direct public opinion, and never contradict official government policy.

One such reporter, Shi Tao, took notes, added his own comments about how this violated freedom of press, and passed this along to Western papers. For this he received 10 years in prison.



RE: MM..
By pjs on 4/3/2006 12:39:41 PM , Rating: 2
This sort of thing is "normal" for the Chinese government.

It is NOT normal for a U.S. based company to do this sort of thing. I hope those yahoos at Yahoo get taken to court and have to pay big $$$ to this guy's family. I will not have anything to do with Yahoo or other companies that sell out people to make more money.

Paul


Shi Tao.
By Min Jia on 4/4/2006 12:12:17 PM , Rating: 3
BTW, this is what Shi Tao did that got him into trouble.

On April 20, 2004, Shi attended a staff meeting at the Contemporary Business News where the contents of a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Propaganda Bureau document about security concerns and preparation for the upcoming 15th anniversary of the June 4th crackdown were discussed. That evening, from his office, Shi used his personal Yahoo! e-mail account to send his notes about this meeting to the New York-based Web site Democracy Forum.

Shi was detained on November 24, 2004 and tried for "illegally providing state secrets overseas" under Article 111 of the People's Republic of China (PRC) Criminal Law on April 27, 2005. He was sentenced on the same day of his trial to 10 years imprisonment. His appeal was denied on June 2, 2005.




RE: Shi Tao.
By masher2 (blog) on 4/4/2006 12:56:16 PM , Rating: 3
Right, this is what I detailed in my post from yesterday. The 'state secrets' were no more than a list of what topics the government doesn't allow to be discussed by Chinese media.


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