Battlepanda: Nothing quite as simple as it seems, is it?


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Nothing quite as simple as it seems, is it?

I know I blogged snarkily about Google's recent decision to censor certain "sensitive" keywords from their search results, but to put everything in perspective, let's remember that, unlike Yahoo!, Google is standing firm on not offering private user information that might actually land folks in jail -- meaning they are refraining on unleashing their gmail and blogger services in China, which will undoubtedly hurt their market share down the road.

So, am I now going to segue into excoriating Yahoo! for their role in putting a Chinese reporter Li Zhi in prison? Actually, no. It's true that Yahoo handed over his user info to the courts, but they did so in this case for the defense's benefit. Li Zhi was communicating via email with an informer, who of course have all the communications cached. The defense wanted access to Yahoo's records to see if they can find something that proves entrapment. True, I'm uncomfortable with Yahoo's policy in general, but in this case Li Zhi's goose was cooked, and his side wanted the records. I find it hard to see how Yahoo is at fault.