Reporter Senza Frontiere chiede a Yahoo il polso duro con la Cina

Reporter Senza Frontiere ha sollecitato il Ceo di Yahoo di avere più spina dorsale quando ha a che fare con la Cina. Segue l’articolo in inglese

REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS has called on Yahoo’s new CEO to have a bit more backbone when it comes to standing up to China.

Yahoo has a history of handing over the names and addresses of customers who the Chinese have a habit of locking up for disagreeing with them.

While Reporters Without Borders congratulated Carol Bartz for her appointment yesterday as Yahoo’s new CEO, the outfit’s secretary-general, Jean-François Julliard, seized the opportunity to write to Bartz to express his concerns about Yahoo’s policies in China.

He pointed out how, in 2005, Yahoo’s reputation was tarnished by revelations of complicity with Chinese Internet censors in the Shi Tao case. Thanks to the data provided by Yahoo, Shi Tao was sentenced to ten years in prison.

Julliard said that Bartz should resist pressure from authoritarian governments and pursue a policy opposed to the disclosure of users’ personal data to the authorities of countries that abusively censor the Internet.

Shi Tao was convicted in 2005 of “illegally divulging state secrets abroad” when the secrets was a text of an internal message which the authorities had sent to his newspaper warning journalists of the dangers of social destabilisation and risks resulting from the return of certain dissidents on the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Former CEO Jerry Yang did have a crack at repairing the damage, including settling a lawsuit brought by Shi Tao’s mother on behalf of her son, and setting up a human rights fund supervised by leading Chinese human rights activist Harry Wu to help Chinese dissidents who are imprisoned or harassed by the government.

Julliard has written a letter to Bartz saying that while this was all very well it is better idea to prevent dissidents from going to jail in the first place rather than doing your best to secure their eventual release.

He asked her to renegotiate Yahoo’s partnership with Alibaba to include a non-negotiable condition requiring it to resist abusive requests from the Chinese authorities.

The letter adds: “If necessary, you must seriously consider the alternative of hosting your servers outside of the country in order not to be subject to local Chinese laws.”

The Inquirer, Thursday, 15 January 2009

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