China Tells Yahoo All Your Drafts Are Belong To Us
from the who-needs-a-warrant-when-you're-so-cooperative dept
Yahoo has again turned over information to the Chinese government that lead to a user being jailed, a human rights group says, for the third time. What makes this case a little different from earlier cases of Yahoo acceding to the Chinese is that Yahoo turned over a draft email to the authorities, not one that had been sent or received. While it’s hardly surprising that Chinese authorities would lay claim to anything on a server of an Internet company operating in their country, the twist that it was a draft is slightly interesting, if for no other reason than many people’s perception that a draft might be more private than something they actually send out. Also, the fact that the government knew to request the draft would indicate that they’d been surveilling the user for some time — again, not a surprise, but perhaps indicative of the degree to which Yahoo cooperates. These sorts of issues are becoming more commonplace, as companies don’t seem to have too many qualms about going along with the government to maintain their piece of the Chinese market. There’s been a lot of posturing about this, but at what point — if ever — will the decisions to play ball with the repressive regime come back to haunt them?