Chinese reporter Shi Tao was jailed and allegedly tortured by the Chinese government after Yahoo provided evidence against the reporter to the Chinese government. He then sued Yahoo over its involvement in the case and others.
Yahoo, in its filing, argued that this case “has no place in the American courts:”
This is a lawsuit by citizens of China imprisoned for using the Internet in China to express political views in violation of China law. It is a political case challenging the laws and actions of the Chinese government.
Yahoo deeply sympathizes with the plaintiffs and their families and does not condone the suppression of their rights and liberty by their government. But Yahoo has no control over the sovereign government of the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”), the laws it passes, and the manner in which it enforces its laws. 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.
But when the New York Times asked Morton Sklar, executive director of the World Organization for Human Rights USA for their opinion, he said:
It is not the Chinese government that is the defendant here. It is Yahoo, for their part in this process. If not for Yahoo, there would have been no abuses. They gave the pieces of information that allowed China to take these actions.
The legal experts feel that Yahoo will ultimately win this case.
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