This was just sent to Jerry Yang, with the current list of petitioners attached:
Dear Mr. Yang,
The attached document is a list of people who have signed the petition against Yahoo! on www.booyahoo.com. Each of these people has agreed to discontinue use of Yahoo!'s services until Yahoo! adapts international privacy policies that allows for freedom of speech--wherever that speech may be occurring. The incarceration of Shi Tao served as a catalyst for this boycott.
These petitioners are not just armchair activists; they represent people who are so incensed by the outcome of Yahoo!'s policy that they have taken action to sever ties with your organization. Each one of them is doing their small part to spread the word about this boycott against Yahoo. Though this is a small beginning, their efforts are helping the website to gain momentum. It has already gotten noticed by Reporters Without Borders, Amnesty International, and the New York Times. Until the Boycott is lifted, this momentum will continue.
However, there is nothing I would like more than to lift the Boycott against Yahoo!. If you visit the website, you will see that I'm not a mere flame-thrower, but have taken a reasoned approach to finding a solution. Any of the following solutions would not only cause me to lift this boycott, but I believe they would also send a
signal to the industry, and place Yahoo! in the leading role once again:
1. Amend your privacy statement. Currently, it reads as follows:
We believe that this policy is too simple for the complicated issues that face a multi-national Internet provider, and it would be better if stated as such:
2. Submit each request to a neutral third party who will review requests for compliance with International Law, and to prevent human rights abuses.
a. Such a group does not currently exist, but Yahoo! is in a unique position to request such a group to be formed. This might be accomplished through a special proceeding of the UN, or by non-profit group such as the International Commission of Jurists.
3. Work with other companies who are similarly involved in the world market (MSN, Google, Cisco, etc.) to set up a legal consortium that will review all legal requests to ensure compliance with International law and basic human rights.
Mr. Yang I realize that Yahoo! is morally neutral, and exists to provide profits to its shareholders. There is no shame in that. However, Yahoo! is unique in the world market in that its product is inextricably linked with the basic human right of free speech. While Yahoo! attempted to expand into foreign markets, you made your organization vulnerable to oppressive policies in those countries. While I would like to believe that Yahoo! has the best intentions to uphold human rights in those countries, you have given us no indication to that this is the case.
I am anxiously awaiting your reply.
"... that which purifies us is trial, and trial is by what is
contrary" John Milton, Areopagetica, 1644