John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Yahoo: How Do We Keep Our Conscience So Clean? Ancient Chinese Secret …

Good thing Yahoo’s working with several Internet and human-rights groups to “further advance thinking and practices around the promotion of free expression and privacy,” otherwise its shareholders’ rejection of two anticensorship proposals yesterday might make you want to question its commitment to human rights.
At Yahoo’s annual meeting, an overwhelming majority of Yahoo shareholders voted against two proposals that would require the Internet company to take proactive steps to address online censorship abroad. The first, which would have prevented Yahoo from storing personally identifying information on servers located in countries where public Internet use is monitored by the government, was sacked, with a vote of 74% opposed. The second, which would have established an independent human-rights committee on the board of directors, was rejected, with a vote of 80% opposed.

Sad, isn’t it? Although to be fair, Yahoo’s shareholders were just doing what they’d been told: The company’s board urged them to oppose the proposals in its annual proxy statement. “Yahoo! is committed to preserving and advancing the fundamental principles of free speech and expression, and … has already adopted policies to promote open access to information and communication for users of the company’s services around the world. The board of directors believes the company’s existing policies, which were carefully developed by Yahoo’s management team, provide the company with the flexibility and resources to comply with applicable laws and, at the same time, protect and advance these important freedoms.”

And what “existing policies” would those be? Turning over political dissidents’ emails to the Chinese government?