Chinese Political Prisoner Sues Yahoo!

The New York Times reports on what should be an interesting case to follow:

A Chinese political prisoner and his wife sued Yahoo in federal court Wednesday, accusing the company of abetting the commission of torture by helping Chinese authorities identify political dissidents who were later beaten and imprisoned.

Given that the search engine, in compliance with the Chinese government, provided information which resulted in Shi Tao's imprisonment, is the "we have to follow their laws" excuse valid?


. . . is the "we have to follow their laws" excuse valid?

It didn't work at Nuremberg, why should it be valid in this case?

What Yahoo!, Google, et al do in China is a matter of business, not human rights, no matter their protestations to the contrary.

Communists are nice people, almost all of them. They are sincere, they are true believers -- and they won't be seduced by sirloin steaks. [...] --Robert Anson Heinlein, Guest of Honor Speech at the Nineteenth World Science Fiction Convention, Seattle, 1961, reprinted in Requiem: (etc.) Tributes to the Grand Master, pg 175

The reference to sirloin steaks was an allusion to a then oft-asked question of Robert Heinlein concerning the likelyhood of the SovUnion becoming less aggressive as they buy more consumer goods and their standard of living
rises. That question was the raison d'etre for almost the entirety of his speech; for the answer was a resounding, "No." It seems a reasonable surmise to me that the same could be said for the "ChiComms".