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November 13, 2007

Yahoo Settles Dissident Case

Yahoo has settled with plaintiffs who sued it over the jailing of two Chinese dissidents when the company provided documents to the Chinese government that led to their jailing.  Yahoo was subject to a hearing in the House a few weeks ago over the incident.  The Committee vented against Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang and General Counsel Michael Callahgan while the parents of one of the jailed dissidents sat in the first row. 

Morton Sklar, the Executive Director of the World Organization for Human Rights was quoted in the Washington Post that the hearings were of tremendous importance to make the settlement happen. Is that what the plaintiffs were seeking?  A settlement?  Other than Yahoo not admitting to wrong, no other terms were announced.  MarketWatch reports that Yahoo has agreed to bear the legal costs for the dissidents and establish a legal fund for other political dissidents and their families.  But what has changed?  Cash changing hands?  A Yahoo policy change?  The dissidents are still in jail.  What will happen the next time reports surface that the Chinese government is asking for email or other Yahoo account information.  Sounds as though the problem has gone from a human rights issue to an accountant's entry.

November 13, 2007 | Permalink


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