In China, Yahoo Names Names

Lawsuit accuses net giant of complicity in torture, human rights abuses
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 28, 2007 1:05 PM CDT
A Chinese man glues the Chinese characters for Yahoo! China onto a board advertising the global Internet portal Yahoo in Beijing, China, in this June 8, 2004 file photo. A court has ruled against Yahoo...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Yahoo asked a US federal court yesterday to dismiss a human rights lawsuit accusing the company of abetting the Chinese government. Two imprisoned Chinese journalists accuse the Web giant of passing along information about users that led to the arrest, imprisonment, and sometimes torture of writers and dissidents, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Yahoo counters that it "has no control over the sovereign government of the People's Republic of China" and contends that American courts don't have jurisdiction. The plaintiffs' lawyer argues that Yahoo had an ethical obligation to ask why the government wanted the information, saying companies doing business overseas "are not bound just by the laws of their host countries."