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Wife of Chinese Cyber Dissident to Sue Yahoo [english.chosun.com]
The wife of a Chinese dissident jailed for publishing articles on the Internet says she plans to sue U.S.-based Internet company Yahoo for allegedly helping to put her husband in jail in China.
Speaking with VOA's Mandarin Service Wednesday after arriving in Washington, Yu Ling said Chinese police arrested her husband, Wang Xiaoning, partly because Yahoo's Hong Kong office gave Chinese authorities information about his e-mail accounts.
This will be an interesting case to watch if it does develop further.
I don't want to get too deep into politics here, but it would certainly present a conundrum if following lawful orders of the Chinese government starts getting companies into human rights troubles in their home countries.
If Yu Ling can get her day in court, it shouldn't be hard for her lawyers to find a sympathetic jury.
[edited by: encyclo at 2:03 am (utc) on Mar. 13, 2007]
[edit reason] fixed link [/edit]
Information Sharing and Disclosure
We respond to subpoenas, court orders, or legal process, or to establish or exercise our legal rights or defend against legal claims.
Yahoo Inc. cleared in Hong Kong case [chron.com]
HONG KONG - Yahoo Inc. did not violate Hong Kong's privacy laws when it provided prosecutors with information about a Chinese reporter accused of leaking state secrets, authorities said Wednesday.
Hong Kong's privacy commissioner said in a statement Wednesday that there was not enough evidence to support the view that Yahoo Hong Kong violated privacy laws.
Just to clarify things here, this article mentions Hong Kong's investigation into a similar matter. This does not mention the case being brought in the US mentioned in the first post. The names of the accused are different.
But this really does not say much about the case the wife is bringing to the US. Hers is (if my speculation is indeed correct) a question regarding private/contract law whereas the HK case was about state privacy laws. In her case you or your lawyer brings your case the court. In the HK case it was the state attorney acting on behalf of all citizens. Very different, but IANAL and I really do not know what I am talking about.
I don't know whether this would set any sort of precedent or whether it would even be considered by a US court.
'Yahoo Betrayed My Husband' [wired.com]
"We are required to follow the laws of those countries and that's what we've done," says Jim Cullinan, a Yahoo spokesman. "Law enforcement agencies in China and elsewhere don't explain to us or telecom companies or anyone the reason why they're demanding specific information. We can't tell the difference between a legitimate national security issue and something else."
The article mentions the other three writers who Yahoo provided information on: Shi Tao, Li Zhi and Jiang Lijun. So the article I linked to yesterday was definitely a different case.
It was interesting to note in this article that legal experts in the US have doubts this case will go anywhere. It looks like an uphill battle for Ms. Yu.
Second Chinese dissident joins lawsuit against Yahoo [arstechnica.com]
Another jailed Chinese pro-democracy activist has joined a legal battle against Yahoo, attempting to hold the company responsible for turning over e-mails to the Chinese government that eventually landed him in prison.
Shi Tao, sentenced to a decade in prison back in 2004, was the first Chinese citizen known to be jailed because of e-mails turned over by Yahoo, according to Boing Boing. Now, Shi has joined the World Organization for Human Rights case against Yahoo, filed in April in a San Francisco court. The case was originally brought on behalf of of jailed dissident Wang Xiaoning (also imprisoned after a court got hold of his Yahoo e-mail). The WOHR is attempting to use both the Alien Toward Statute and the Torture Victim Protection Act to bring the case, even though the actions in question did not happen in the US.
Yahoo asks federal court to dismiss human rights lawsuit [computerworld.com]
In a 51-page defense filed yesterday, Yahoo asked the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to dismiss the lawsuit, saying U.S. courts don't have jurisdiction over YHKL. In addition, Yahoo said that while it sympathized with the plaintiffs and their families and doesn't condone the suppression of their rights and liberties by their government, it had no control over laws passed by the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the ways in which those laws were enforced.
"Neither Yahoo Inc. or YHKL therefore can be held liable for the independent acts of the PRC just because a former Yahoo subsidiary in China obeyed a lawful government request for the collection of evidence relevant to a pending investigation," Yahoo said in its lawsuit. When the lawsuit was filed, Yahoo was the sole owner of YHKL. Now, however, a Chinese company, Alibaba, holds a majority stake in YHKL.
If YHKL had to get the data from Yahoo Inc. then it may well be that Yahoo Inc. did disclose the data from the US without due legal process. Of course, Yahoo Inc. can only be said to have disclosed the data to YHKL if they are separate entities.
As a separate entity, if the data originated with Yahoo Inc., then it would seem that Yahoo Inc. does have a case to answer based upon that disclosure. Alternatively, as part of the same entity (hence no true disclosure between them) then the actions of YHKL then fall under the US courts directly.
Of course that is all conjecture. Personally I hope that the case does get heard and precedent established.
Personally I hope that the case does get heard and precedent established.