Yahoo helps CCP jail another cyberdissident

Here we go again. It shouldn’t be that big a deal; the stability-threatening cyberdissident only got an 8-year sentence. Rebecca is on top of this one and will surely be the place to go to learn more.

Update: ESWN offers a different perspective. It certainly sounds like there’s more here than what Reporters Without Borders is telling us.

Update 2: Rebecca MacKinnon weighs in on ESWN’s analysis.

The Discussion: 20 Comments

Ah, what can you do? It’s an American company, they all do that etc etc etc and all the other reasons you gave for not boycotting Google and telling other companies that enough’s enough.
Just read Patten’s East and West. He agrees with me.

February 8, 2006 @ 6:23 pm | Comment

Anybody here seen iRepress ? ๐Ÿ™‚

February 8, 2006 @ 8:30 pm | Comment

(Dammit, link misfired – try again !)

Anybody here seen iRepress ? ๐Ÿ™‚

February 8, 2006 @ 8:39 pm | Comment

Good link, Emile.

Keir, calling for a boycott is a serious thing. I can’t in good conscience call for boycott of Yahoo and/or Google, unless i call for a boycott of all US companies doing business in China. Because they all play the same or similar game, including brown paper bags of cash under the table and complying with odious laws designed to preserve a dictatorship. I can’t call for a boycott of these companies, however. First of all, it won’t change the way the CCP does business. Second, the good that many of these companies bring to China in terms of jobs, technology, etc., can’t be ignored. It’s a complex and difficult subject, and I’m the first to admit I’m conflicted. Calling for a boycott might make us feel good, but I see it as a rather hollow gesture, though I’m willing to reconsider this position.

February 8, 2006 @ 10:15 pm | Comment

The way Reporters Without Borders is presenting this case is highly misleading.
ESWN has a good post on it

February 9, 2006 @ 1:23 am | Comment

Thanks for that, Hui Mao; I added the link to the post above.

February 9, 2006 @ 2:16 am | Comment

Actually Roland is way off the mark as usual.

Roland’s missing a critical step in the process of the prosecution’s case. The accusations against Yahoo by the activists have nothing to do with the defense attorneys’ theories that he’s translated.

February 9, 2006 @ 5:28 pm | Comment

Could you elaborate? I admit, it’s confusing as hell.

February 9, 2006 @ 5:43 pm | Comment

Just wrote it up here

Roland is comparing apples and oranges. The evidence obtained from Yahoo! wasn’t needed for the prosecution’s case and never presented in court, because it was supplanted by evidence based upon the sting operation of the Dazhou authorities.

But it’s quite clear that the sting operation by the Dazhou authorities would never have happened without the information provided by Yahoo! identifying Li Zhi as the target for a sting. And providing that identifying information to set the ball in motion is what the human rights groups are complaining about and not what the defense attorney’s are asking to have presented in court.

February 9, 2006 @ 6:02 pm | Comment

But it’s quite clear that the sting operation by the Dazhou authorities would never have happened without the information provided by Yahoo! identifying Li Zhi as the target for a sting. And providing that identifying information to set the ball in motion is what the human rights groups are complaining about

Do you have some other sources of information that led you to this conclusion? According to the lawyers’ letter, Yahoo provided the information about Li Zhi’s account on August 1st, 2003, while the informants/agents started to frequently communicate with Li in person and in online exchanges (including email) sometime during or before March of 2003, including going to Li’s house and secretly taping conversations with Li during March and April. Also, the lawyers refer to a National Security Agency document written in March concerning Li’s activities with an hostile element. So at least from the lawyers’ letter, it seems that the government’s sting operation on Li was well on its way for at least five months before Yahoo provided the information about Li’s account in August.

February 9, 2006 @ 9:12 pm | Comment

No one has pointed out to me yet which “law” (on the books) is being followed when such info is turned over. Anyone have any hints?

February 9, 2006 @ 11:40 pm | Comment

Hui Mao,
Go read the letter again.

:::Over a period of time, this person continually contacted, communicated and exchanged information with Li Zhi. In March-April 2004, he came from northwestern Sichuan to meet with Li Zhi multiple times in Dazhou.:::

The sting from Dazhou is AFTER the information provided by Yahoo! in August 2003.

Remember there are two different contacts with Li Zhi, the Ying character, who may not be a sting but ends up being “compromised” and cooperates with authorities and then there is the sting from Dazhou undert the names Bashanyeyu / Mou Yu.

February 10, 2006 @ 3:35 am | Comment

ESWN Misses The Mark On Li Zhi And Yahoo

Ha! Ha! The Standard fails to put on their thinking cap and repeats the idiocy of ESWN once again. Oooops!
From The Standard:
“Getting all the mail exchanges between those two accounts would allow the defense to show how Li Zhi was set up,” said Roland

February 10, 2006 @ 4:05 am | Comment

We must be reading different versions of the letter then. The version of the lawyers’ letter that I read clearly says these meetings took place in March-April 2003

有网名โ€œ巴山夜雨โ€者(卷中多见此人的材料),对李智自称本名โ€œ牟雨โ€(不知是真名、别名或化名)曾在一段时间内不间断地与李智联络、交流、沟通信息,并于2003年3月、4月从川西北亲赴达州与李在家中多次见面。李毫无戒备,打开电子邮箱,让他使用过家用电脑。直到一审法庭调查阶段,控方宣读โ€œ录音证据โ€,内容竟然都是与โ€œ巴山夜雨โ€即牟雨聊天漫谈的情况,方知牟雨在谈话时就做了录音。据此李智推测,牟雨对他搞了โ€œ侦查โ€ 活动。

李案辩护律师: 张思之 阎如玉


Li Zhi was sentenced to jail in December of 2003 and his lawyers wrote the letter in question on 2/4/2004. So the events that they refer to must be March-April 2003 and before when Yahoo turned over the information in August 2003.

February 10, 2006 @ 2:09 pm | Comment

Both of you need to read Rebecca’s new post on this.

February 10, 2006 @ 5:59 pm | Comment

Hui Mao, the section I quoted above was from ESWN’s translation of the letter.

My apologies for not following up with the original to see if ESWN screwed up the translation.

February 10, 2006 @ 6:26 pm | Comment

my apologies to everyone. it was my mistake. the two references to 2004 should both be 2003.

i was in a hurry to satisfy a reporter’s need (that detail was not published, as all the reporter needed was an overall sense of proportion of the Yahoo paragraph with respect to the totality of the defense document).

February 10, 2006 @ 8:44 pm | Comment

My apologies for not going more in depth for the article. I’m the reporter Roland is referring to. Unfortunately, the demands of my paper and its limited space and current upheaval regarding management changes make it impossible to report much more than I did at the time.
I also sense more than a little jealousy regarding Roland, especially in Hui Mao’s posts. If you have other information or another point of view why don’t you start your own blog and let other clueless journalists such as myself in on it rather than having shmucks like myself stumble on it through backtracking days after the fact?
If any of you clowns have ever worked for a daily newspaper in any capacity, I’d be surprised. It’s not the guiless artful calculated act you imagine. Especially in a mixed-language/extremely varied professional background environment like Hong Kong.

February 12, 2006 @ 5:25 am | Comment

Uhh Justin, you need to read this comment thread again. I was the one defending Roland’s view. For a reporter, you certainly seem to lack basic reading comprehension skills.

February 13, 2006 @ 1:35 am | Comment

Thanks Hui Mao. I was wondering if it was just me who found Justin’s coment kind of weird.

February 13, 2006 @ 3:24 am | Comment

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