China's Cyberdissidents and the Yahoos at Yahoo
You'll need TimesSelect to read the whole thing, but Nicholas Kristof, who has probably done more than any other journalist in the world to explain the way China cracks down on dissidents, has an absolutely devastating lead on his column today. Echoing Representative Chris Smith, he writes:
Suppose that Anne Frank had maintained an e-mail account while in hiding in 1944, and that the Nazis had asked Yahoo for cooperation in tracking her down. It seems, based on Yahoo's behavior in China, that it might have complied.
Kristof also does the best job of any journalist I've seen at explaining what each of the four companies called before Congress has done in China:
"Yahoo sold its soul and is a national disgrace."
"Microsoft has also been cowardly, but nothing like Yahoo."
"Cisco in China is a bit sleazy but nothing like Yahoo."
"Google strikes me as innocent of wrongdoing."
It says a lot about the place Google now holds in the American consciousness that this story has been almost entirely about Google.
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