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Radio Four Today: 1 - Yahoo: 0

I was impressed with Radio 4's Today (opens in new tab)program last Thursday when Greg Wood, Today's business correspondent, reported on the US Congress hearings against the likes of Google, Yahoo, Cisco Systems and Microsoft, for allegedly kow-towing to the Chinese government in order to earn revenue from the Chinese masses.

As a I reported the other week, Google has bowed down to the Chinese government and allowed a crippled version of its search engine to be offered to Chinese users. Other online companies, including Yahoo, have also bowed down to the Chinese government in their rush to operate in China.

The Today news item had a US Congress official asking Yahoo's representative whether he was aware of IBM's claims that it acted perfectly legally when dealing with the German government during the Second World War.

Quite a fair comparison I think - the Nazis in their early days were comparable to the Chinese government in terms of torturing innocent civilians (allegedly) and their poor record on human rights.

Yahoo has been in the news (opens in new tab)recently for passing on information to the Chinese government about the online actions of its citizens, resulting in at least one - allegedly - being placed in clink for a long time.

"We think, on balance, on balance, we behaved legally," said the Yahoo legal counsel.

Unfortunately, said legal counsel felt he couldn't comment on comparisons with IBM's co-operation with the Nazis during the Second World War.

"I'm not familiar in detail with IBM's record during that period," came the pathetic response.

Top marks to Radio 4 for highlighting this exchange (opens in new tab)...