Because FLOSS is handy, isn’t it?

Yahoo!, the defenders of the civil liberties

Posted by isilanes on August 28, 2007

It is not new: we all know that companies like Microsoft, Google and Yahoo! sold their souls to the capital so badly, that they’d even collaborate with communism. Paradoxical, uh? In other words: they love freedom, but they love money best (I don’t berate China for being communist, but for its lack of liberties). These companies will collaborate with any totalitarian government or do any unethical thing if it returns money… and this is legal? Surely not.

The last bit is Yahoo! betraying the confidence in their online privacy of some Chinese anti-government activists, and selling their identities to the police of that country. You can read more at the BBC site.

Yahoo! kind of defends itself by saying that it has to comply with the local laws in the countries it operates. I call this bullshit. If the laws of some country are not ethically acceptable, or are legally incompatible with the civil rights of most “first world” countries (including the original country of the company, in this case the USA), then the company must dismiss operating on the country at all, unless it accepts abiding by these laws (as Yahoo! itself says), therefore supporting them, and therefore being liable to a punishment for their application (e.g. they can be fined in the USA for doing whatever in China, if this act is legal in China, but illegal in the USA). If they don’t have what it takes to face the punishment, they should refrain from operating in the country at all.

More news:

1) Digg search for Yahoo and China

2) Same, for Google (incidentally, see the mentions to Wikipedia not bowing to China).

3) Same, for Microsoft. Check, e.g., Gates defending Google over censorship issue.

4) Yahoo!, Microsoft ink web pact with Chinese government


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