Don't be mad at Yahoo!

Unlike Google (but like Microsoft and TimeWarner), Yahoo! turned its records over to the Bush administration to help it revive an internet porn law. Not just any internet porn law, mind you, but one that was struck down by a conservative Supreme Court two years ago.

So this isn't even a part of the ol' national security v. civil liberties debate.

Not too long ago, however, Yahoo! did turn its records over to a government under the auspices of "national security." But that time it was China -- and it was to guard against "the dangers of social destabilisation."

A journalist named Shi Tao was arrested with the help of Yahoo!'s records. Jesus's General, with a nod to the fact that Yahoo!'s actions were motivated by the desire to keep its fat fingers in the growing Chinese market and not by any political considerations, mocks:

"I'm surprised that Yahoo! Inc.'s hasn't done a better job telling your side of the Shi Tao controversy. Your silence has allowed special interest groups to promote their own narrative, one that makes Yahoo!'s actions appear morally criminal. There's even a petition urging people to boycott your products."
The General suggests an ad campaign making the argument for violating civil liberties across the globe, starting with China:
"You could begin with a TV ad telling the story of how you turned over Shi Tao's email records to Chinese Intelligence so that they could jail him for distributing the governments "warning [to] 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." I'm sure that if you portray it as a security issue--like Our Leader is trying to do with domestic spying--you'll win the public over to your side."

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