A PR nightmare for Yahoo

This is why you don’t give in to foreign governments with abysmal human rights records. You just don’t.

Moments later, government agents swarm through the front door -- 10 of them, some in uniform, some not. They take Wang away. They take his computers and disks. They shove an official notice into Yu's hands, tell her to keep quiet, and leave. This is how it's done in China. This is how the internet police grab you

Five years later, Yu, 55, sits in the dining room of a small house in Fairfax and weeps softly. She is a slight woman -- 100 pounds and barely 5 feet tall in slippers. Her eyes betray her exhaustion; but she is determined, too. She carries a thick stack of notes with her, and she has scrawled more on her left hand.

"Yahoo betrayed my husband and deprived him of freedom," Yu says through a translator, her voice trembling. "Yahoo must learn its lesson.”

Link here, much more at BoingBoing.

Yahoo was in an ackward position, where the law of the land required them to turn over the data. But what if you know that turning over this data may result in someone losing their life, or facing years in prison?

I know for a fact that Yahoo people aren’t evil. In fact, it is a group largely made of really good, well-meaning people who are actually sickened by this whole situation. So don’t blame the whole company.

But sometimes, decisions are made by individuals in organizations that result in this type of action. It’s a lesson in organizational ethics: Set the standard, and then lose the damn business, fire the MBA moron who is harping about the opportunity, walk away. Just don’t bother with it.