A union representing some 40,000 journalists in the United Kingdom has requested that all of its members refrain from employing any Yahoo products or services—as well as those operated by Yahoo—because of the search company’s past business practices in China, Reuters reports.
The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) contacted Yahoo Europe Vice President Dominique Vidal via letter on Friday, and blasted the company for its reported assistance in the Chinese government’s investigations of journalists, according to Reuters.
A number of recent court decisions clearly state that Yahoo provided the Chinese government with Internet records and information pertaining to journalists who advocated democracy, which led to the imprisonment of some pundits.
Jemima Kiss, chairman of the NUJ new media council, wrote in the letter to Vidal, “The NUJ regards Yahoo’s actions as a completely unacceptable endorsement of the Chinese authorities,” according to Reuters.
Yahoo has defending its actions by stating that in order to do business in China, it needs to comply with its rules and regulations—an argument seconded by Google, which also came under fire in recent months for the launch of its Google.cn search engine that filters out content the Chinese government finds offensive. Just last week, Yahoo Chief Executive Officer Terry Semel stood in front of company investors at its annual shareholders meeting and told attendees that Yahoo has no choice but to comply with Chinese laws and no power to alter those policies, according to Reuters.
Specifically, journalists groups—including NUJ—charge Yahoo with handing over records that helped jail journalists Li Zhi and Shi Tao, for eight and 10 years respectively, Reuters reports.
NUJ Chairman Kiss said it will continue to advise the Yahoo boycott until the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company “changes its irresponsible and unethical behavior,” according to Reuters.
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