If you have a Yahoo email account and you eventually find yourself writing about something that might be considered inexplicably dangerous (if not now, then perhaps in the not-too-distant future), you may want to ensure that your personal information is fabricated. Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang has confirmed that Yahoo provided journalist Shi To’s private information to Chinese authorities. The journalist was then sentenced to ten years in prison. What was Shi’s crime? He dared to spell out media restrictions in place within China. Former President Bill Clinton also weighed in at an Internet forum, saying, “The internet, no matter what political system a country has, and our political system is different from yours, the internet is having significant political and social consequences and they cannot be erased.” He then went into a panegyric about how none of this had any negative effects on e-commerce.
It’s good to know that in the Clinton and Yang vision of the Internet, business comes first and that political extradition and freedom of speech is as expungable as a spam message.