It's disturbing that yahoo! remains silent on this issue because it means they will make no changes on their policy. That they have decided that the company will continue to help Chinese government put people in jail for writing "subversive" information on the net. Most importantly, due to the lack of free press in China, people who are using Yahoo! in China is under the impression that the American company will keep their information private. If Yahoo! continues with this policy they need to tell their users upfront when they sign in that their information will be given and that people have been jailed while using the Yahoo! services.
Although Yahoo!'s explanation for this behavior is that they are working "in accordance to local law," the local law in China is unjust and a violation of human rights. Yahoo cannot continue to working under a totalitarian regime acting like it is a free country. What is acceptable behavior for a corporation in a democracy where rule of law applies is not when it doesn't.
Human Rights in China (HRIC) has said that the verdict in the case of Wang Xiaoning, 55, sentenced to ten years in prison in September 2003 for posting "subversive" articles online, referred to collaboration by the US Internet company.
"Chinese journalists and dissidents used to trust Yahoo! more than local companies, to protect the confidentiality of their electronic communications," Reporters Without Borders said.
Wang, was arrested on 1st September 2002 and sentenced on 12 September 2003, to 10 years in prison and two years deprivation of civil rights for "incitement to subversion".
The HRIC said that he had reportedly been maltreated in detention between September 2002 and February 2004 and was believed held in solitary confinement at the No. 2 municipal prison in Beijing.
The press freedom organisation said it was dismayed by the absence of any reaction from Yahoo! executives.
Wang was charged with posting pro-democracy articles in electronic newsletters sent by email between 2000 and 2002. According to the HRIC, several articles were referred to in the verdict, one of which was headlined, "Never forget that China is still a dictatorship."
The text shows that information provided by the Hong Kong branch of Yahoo! helped establish a link between Wang Xiaoning and messages carried by a discussion forum. It said that the moderators of the discussion forum, hosted by Yahoo!, had decided to ban the cyberdissident from using the forum.