Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Tao of Yahoo

A while back I posted an entry entitled "Die, Yahoo!" (excitability in the defense of liberty is no vice) about that internet provider's kowtowing to the Chinese government, which it has helped quash the free exchange of ideas ever since signing the Orwellian "Public Pledge on Self-Discipline for the China Internet Industry." The pledge works like this: the Chinese government asks you to block certain search terms - the really radical ones, like "democracy" - and you kiss their Communist ass and do it. Yahoo is the most egregious offender, but Microsoft and now Google have joined them in the hall of shame.

Well, Congress has taken note.

Chris Smith is a Republican, but before you run in horror, I'd like to tell you about him. He is an important supporter of the maternal health work that NGOs (like the one my fiancée works for) are doing in Africa. He's one of those nutty Christians whose faith actually compels them to seek out and assist the poor wherever they are found. (I think Jesus said something about it. That guy couldn't shut up about the poor!) Without his advocacy, obstetric fistula would not be getting the attention and financial resources it deserves from the US Government. Now he is taking on the sniveling greedheads of Silicon Valley. These corporate cowards had the power to stand up to China (yes, it would have cost them, after all, "Freedom isn't free") but instead they caved.

Please write Congressman Smith - and your own - and urge them to take your internet provider to task. A billion people are counting on you.