Would Yahoo! Turn In Anne Frank? (Clumsy Post)

With all the business about Yahoo! outing journalists that are critical of China to the Chinese authorities, can we extend this farther back in history? Capitalist democracies have always enjoyed totalitarian regimes for their control and access to cheap materials, markets and labor – morality and profit-motives aren’t alwasy complimentary. If Anne Frank had kept her blog on Yahoo!, would they have revealed her IP address when the Sicherheitsdienst came calling?
Inspired from a comment on Slashdot.
Update: I’m not liking ths post. Peter took me to task and it’s a half hour after I posted and I am feeling this is a clumsy comparison. China/WWII Germany are not parallels by any means and I wasn’t able to find a sufficient parallel to the modern example except for Anne Frank. Corporate collusion with oppressive regimes will remain a growing issue in a world-wide web and globalized economy.






4 responses to “Would Yahoo! Turn In Anne Frank? (Clumsy Post)”

  1. Peter T Davis Avatar

    As bad as the Chinese government is, a comparison to Nazis is unfair.

  2. Andy Wibbels Avatar

    Yep, I know I was Godin-ing.
    China and WWII German are not exact parallels by any sense. But if Anne Frank were blogging online, critic of her situation – would a company doing business in that country have an obligation to turn her in?
    Should Google have turned over the identity of the Baghdad Blogger over to the US military?
    The arguments are being made that opening up search engines into the oontrolled Chinese mediascape is the better of the two ‘evils’ – it is better for folks to have access to some of the information even if part of it is scrubbed than to have no access to the information at all. This conveniently fits with the motives of the companies.
    As long as blogging can be mostly anonymous, companies will have to reconcile their wishes to maximize profits, please regulating agencies and governments and still give lip-service to some sort of free speech ethos.

  3. Peter T Davis Avatar

    Sorry, but I still just see it as a little bit sick to use a child who was murdered by the Nazis as an example to make your point against Yahoo.

  4. Javier Avatar

    To Peter Davies
    I am not sure if I get Andy´s comments right, but I think he does have a point there. THings start small but can get more serious later. I have a post about this in my blog (entitled “You are losing your privacy fast”) It talks about the same thing and warns of what may come if we close our eyes to certain attitudes today…

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