Yahoo boycott: Free mailing lists & web tools

Gary Herman tony at
Tue Nov 14 16:11:22 GMT 2006

Hi all,

Here is a list of alternative mailing lists and alternative web tools to
The National Union of Journalists is calling for a boycott of Yahoo! Yahoo!
have assisted the Chinese Authorities in locating and prosecuting human
rights campaigners. Amnesty International also recognises the need for
action. See below for article. 

Tony Gosling
0117 944 6219

For those interested in starting or migrating a mailing list or discussion
group the New Media Industrial Council (NMIC) of the National Union of
Journalists (NUJ) has come up with the following list of lists. It's worth
noting that NUJ freelances use GreenNet at a cost of £25 to set up and £60
annually (plus VAT). 
Please contact <gherman at> with any other services you
think we should include on this list of 'ethical' web tools.

Cool List:

PAID GROUPS/COMMUNITY (most ISP's will do this):
FanBlast! (100 subscribers max):
Your Mailing List:
Notify List:

Free Lists (tech related):
Group Apps (from



Journalists' union calls for boycott of Yahoo!
That'll hurt 'em...
By John Oates
Published Monday 5th June 2006 13:46 GMT

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) is calling for a boycott of Yahoo!
because of its "unethical behaviour" in China.

Yahoo! has been criticised for cooperating with Chinese law enforcement. It
has given details of at least three people to Chinese authorities who were
subsequently imprisoned. The most recent of these was Shi Tao who was
sentenced to 10 years in prison for "divulging state secrets" - he
forwarded a government email sent to journalists warning them not to report
on the anniversary of Tiananmen Square because it could encourage trouble.

NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear said: "The NUJ regards Yahoo!'s actions
as a completely unacceptable endorsement of the Chinese authorities. As a
result, the NUJ will be cancelling all Yahoo!-operated services and
advising all members to boycott Yahoo! until the company changes its
irresponsible and unethical policy." Read the NUJ statement here.

Seventeen years after the Tiananmen Square massacre many companies are
cooperating with Chinese authorities in blocking content that Beijing
considers distasteful. Microsoft was recently accused, but denied, handing
over details of a dissident journalist. Other companies such as Google
co-operate in blocking content in line with Chinese government demands.

A spokeswoman for the NUJ said it was still waiting for a response from
Yahoo!. She said other companies may be added to the boycott in future. She
could not offer any advice as to alternative services to use.

Yahoo! sent us the following (apologies for length):

Mary Osako at Yahoo! said: "The facts of the Shi Tao case are distressing
to our company, our employees, and our leadership. We condemn punishment of
any activity internationally recognized as free expression, whether that
punishment takes place in China or anywhere else in the world. We have made
our views clearly known to the Chinese government.

"When Yahoo! China in Beijing was required to provide information about the
user, who we later learned was Shi Tao, we had no information about the
nature of the investigation. We were unaware of the particular facts
surrounding the case until the news story emerged. Law enforcement agencies
in China, the United States, and elsewhere typically do not explain to
information technology companies or other businesses why they demand
specific information regarding certain individuals. In many cases, Yahoo!
does not know the real identity of individuals for whom governments request
information, as very often our users subscribe to our services without
using their real names.

"At the time the demand was made for information in this case, Yahoo! China
was legally obligated to comply with the requirements of Chinese law
enforcement. When we had operational control of Yahoo! China, we took steps
to make clear our Beijing operation would honor such instructions only if
they came through authorized law enforcement officers and only if the
demand for information met rigorous standards establishing the legal
validity of the demand.

"When we receive a demand from law enforcement authorized under the law of
the country in which we operate, we must comply. This is a real example of
why this issue is bigger than any one company and any one industry. All
companies must respond in the same way. When a foreign telecommunications
company operating in the United States receives an order from U.S. law
enforcement, it must comply. Failure to comply in China could have
subjected Yahoo! China and its employees to criminal charges, including
imprisonment. Ultimately, U.S. companies in China face a choice: comply
with Chinese law, or leave.

"The choice in China or other countries is not whether to comply with law
enforcement demands for information. Rather, the choice is whether or not
to remain in a country. We balance the requirement to comply with laws that
are not necessarily consistent with our own values against our strong
belief that active involvement in China contributes to the continued
modernization of the country - as well as a benefit to Chinese citizens -
through the advancement of communications, commerce and access to information.

"We believe that the internet is a positive force in China and a growing
Chinese middle class is benefiting greatly from more education,
communication, and technology."

NB It's also important to correct inaccurate reports that Yahoo! Hong Kong
gave information to the Chinese government. This is absolutely untrue.
Yahoo! Hong Kong was not involved in any disclosure of information about
Mr. Shi to the Chinese government. In this case, the Chinese government
ordered Yahoo! China to provide user information, and Yahoo! China complied
with Chinese law. To be clear - Yahoo! China and Yahoo! Hong Kong have
always operated independently of one another. There was not then, nor is
there today, any exchange of user information between Yahoo! Hong Kong and
Yahoo! China."

Amnesty International has called on Yahoo! to act more responsibly in China.

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