Connect with us

When you think of Big Tech these days, Yahoo is probably not top of mind. But for a 62-year-old Chinese dissident named Xu Wanping, the company still looms large—and has for nearly two decades.

In 2005, Xu was arrested for signing online petitions relating to anti-Japanese protests. He didn’t use his real name, but he did use his Yahoo email address.

At the time, Yahoo was among Silicon Valley’s largest and most influential technology companies. And Yahoo China, its Chinese subsidiary, was busy tapping into the country’s nascent but potentially enormous internet market. It didn’t take long, though, for the company to violate its new users’ trust—providing information on certain email accounts to Chinese law enforcement, which in turn allowed the government to identify and arrest a number of Yahoo users.

Xu was one of them; he would serve nine years in prison, his third sentence relating to his activism, and emerge with chronic health issues from his time behind bars.

Now, he and five other Chinese former political prisoners are suing Yahoo and a slate of co-defendants—not because of the company’s information-sharing (which was the focus of an earlier lawsuit filed by other plaintiffs), but rather because of what came after.

These six men allege that Yahoo and its representatives breached their fiduciary duty when a fund, originally set up by the company to benefit cyber dissidents, was largely squandered by the individual Yahoo chose to oversee it. The suit argues that money meant to help people who had been imprisoned, in some cases for a decade or more, instead went to line the pockets of the fund’s executor—all with the tech company’s knowledge and approval. The plaintiffs, though, face myriad challenges complicated by corporate reshufflings, organizational turnover, and the creation of new legal entities in the hollow shell of what were once a tech industry behemoth and its respected nonprofit partner. Of all the ways Yahoo failed over the years—from the perspective of business, cultural relevance, simple technology—perhaps none has had a greater human toll than how it failed these Chinese users of its popular email service.

At the heart of the suit is the Yahoo Human Rights Fund (YHRF). Launched in 2008, to settle a high-profile 2007 lawsuit on behalf of the first two known Chinese Yahoo email users to go to prison, YHRF served to quell a public relations disaster and potential regulatory nightmare. Exclusively funded by the tech company, the fund aimed “to provide humanitarian and legal aid to dissidents who have been imprisoned for expressing their views online,” as a press release put it, and to ensure that “our actions match our values,” as Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang said in the release.

To manage the fund, Yahoo partnered with Harry Wu—a noted Chinese dissident turned powerful anti-China activist—and his nonprofit, the Laogai Research Foundation. But Wu grossly mismanaged YHRF, spending less than $650,000—or 4%—of the fund’s total $17.3 million on support for online dissidents, according to the current lawsuit. One year, YHRF allegedly spent $0 on what was meant to be its primary purpose. (Some defendants contest these calculations.)

The lawsuit alleges that Yahoo knew about this mismanagement and failed to prevent it.

Indeed, emails, meeting minutes, and depositions produced during the lawsuit’s discovery reveal Yahoo executives’ private frustrations with how the fund’s money was being spent. In April 2013, for instance, Yahoo’s representative on the YHRF board emailed another board member to coordinate efforts to block Wu’s latest request for more money and more leeway about how to spend it.

“I think what we really need is an intervention,” the board member wrote.

Yahoo’s representative responded, “LOL. That, and a strong drink perhaps.”

The “most shocking thing” is that among people “inside the fund’s affairs,” says Times Wang, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, “there was very little disagreement that more should be done for the dissidents, that the fund’s spending was way imbalanced. But nobody had the backbone to do anything about it.”

“They were worried about generating bad publicity,” Wang adds.

(Sona Moon, Yahoo’s chief communications officer, did not respond to specific questions about the public relations value of YHRF but wrote in an emailed statement that the lawsuit “does not allege any claims for human rights abuses by Yahoo. The case is wholly unrelated to Yahoo’s current business or ownership. We take seriously our duty to respect and uphold human rights everywhere we operate.”)

While the lawsuit is largely focused on what happened in the past, the plaintiffs are also concerned about the future of people like them; they’re asking the court to force Yahoo to set up a new humanitarian fund with the same general purpose as YHRF, but

Read More


By: Eileen Guo
Title: Inside the decades-long fight over Yahoo’s misdeeds in China
Sourced From:
Published Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2023 10:00:00 +0000

Continue Reading


Top 5 Bitcoin ATM Locations in Athens for Fast and Easy Crypto Access

flyfada 587x330 1 jpg

As a crypto analyst and frequent investor in the Greek digital currency market, I can confidently recommend Bcash for convenient and secure Bitcoin purchasing in Athens. With 10 strategically located crypto ATM hotspots spanning central Athens and the northern suburbs, Bcash enables instant access to leading cryptocurrencies like BTC, ETH, and USDT.

Experience the Leading Greek Crypto ATM Network at Bcash’s Hotspots

From first-hand experience, I’m impressed by Bcash’s easy user interface, excellent customer assistance, and fair prices. Their two-way ATM machines allow both buying with Euro cash and selling crypto for instant fiat payouts. I found the simple on-screen instructions enabled completing transactions in under 2 minutes!

Bcash’s Bitcoin ATM network stands out from competitors by aligning prices closely with real-time crypto market rates. Their typical 6-8% fees are much cheaper than traditional crypto brokers and exchanges in Greece. For investors seeking reliable local crypto access, Bcash has the solutions.

Central Athens Bcash Shops Offer Prime Buying and Selling

For maximum security while buying or selling Bitcoin, Bcash’s dedicated Athens shop locations are ideal. Their main office on Dimitrakopoulou Street in the city center contains a premier crypto ATM location open 6 days weekly. It’s close to public transit for easy access.

I also frequented Bcash’s Glyfada branch in the south shopping district. With spacious storefront access and long business hours, this hotspot proved one of my favorite crypto transaction destinations. The expert staff helped guide my buying process as a beginner too.

Glyfada Shopping District ATM Location

flyfada 587x330 2 jpg

The Glyfada store sits right on Gennimata Street, providing a safe and high-traffic venue for easily buying and selling leading cryptocurrencies. Open Monday through Saturday, this major Bcash outlet enjoys strong local area visibility for crypto investors.

Northern Suburbs ATM Hotspots

In Athens’ northern suburbs, I purchased Bitcoin multiple times at Bcash’s Nea Erythraia shop off Mikras Asias Street. Located just 20 minutes from the city center, it makes crypto conveniently accessible for residents across northeast Athens.

2athens jpg

Piraeus Port Shopping District ATM

piersport 186x330 1 jpg

While recently docking overnight at the Piraeus cruise port as part of an Aegean island-hopping vacation, I encountered one of Bcash’s handy crypto ATMs just 5 minutes from the passenger terminals. Located right on Sachtouri Street inside the company’s Piraeus store, this machine proved hugely convenient for buying Bitcoin during my stay.

As one of Europe’s largest passenger ports, Piraeus receives over 4 million travelers every year who could benefit from easy access to crypto. Whether before boarding ferries to venture deeper into the Greek islands or arriving back onshore in Athens, the Bcash outlet enables obtaining coins to capture optimal valuations.

And for tourists exploring downtown Piraeus’ vast harborfront retail area, having a trusted Bitcoin ATM one block away gives peace of mind. Rather than relying solely on airport kiosks, cruise ship visitors can turn Euros into crypto almost anytime thanks to Bcash’s strategic positioning. As vacationing investors, that accessibility offers real advantages.

Bcash Brings Bitcoin to the Greek Islands

Rhodes Island BTM Location

Read More


Title: Top 5 Bitcoin ATM Locations in Athens for Fast and Easy Crypto Access
Sourced From:
Published Date: Sun, 03 Mar 2024 17:18:46 +0000

Did you miss our previous article…

Continue Reading


The citizen scientists chronicling a neglected but vital Mexican river

LIZ AAA00202 scaled

The city of Monterrey in northeastern Mexico is an industrial powerhouse that has rapidly devoured green space to make room for its 5.3 million people. The Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range around the city is still holding strong, though the hills are increasingly encroached on by the urban sprawl of skyscrapers, apartment buildings, industrial parks, and highways. The same can’t be said for the Río Santa Catarina, the river that has been the vital core of the city for hundreds of years.

LIZ AAA00202 1 scaled
Lizbeth Ovalle, founder of Viaje al Microcosmos, gathers water from
the Río Santa CatarinaANDREA VILLARREAL
circle of approx 25 people seated on the rocky shore of a river
Participants in one of the Viaje al Microcosmos river walks sit to share their observations and reflect on their findings.
DSC08667 scaled
Andrea Villarreal, a member of the citizen science group, shows a participant how to use the iNaturalist app, which can help identify plants and animals.

overgrowth in the area below an overpass
Viaje al Micrososmos
organized a walk along this stretch of the Río Santa Catarina in October 2023.LORENA RíOS

Today, the Río Santa Catarina looks more like a forest than a river. It is mostly a dry jumble of rocks whose water is diverted to supply the city’s growing needs. Much of the riverbed is obscured by vegetation that has grown wild since a hurricane in 2010 destroyed many structures along the river, including soccer fields, parking lots, and a mini-golf course. But despite what many city officials and residents make of it, this urban river is very much alive, and a group of young women wants to prove it.

The group, called Viaje al Microcosmos de Nuevo LeónJourney into the Microcosm of Nuevo León), is not made up of scientists but, rather, of concerned citizens. Through the use of art and citizen science, its members are documenting and sharing with others the river’s forgotten nature—its trees, bushes, birds, flowers, insects, and even microorganisms (from which the group takes its name).

IMG 8109 scaledRead More


By: Lorena Ríos
Title: The citizen scientists chronicling a neglected but vital Mexican river
Sourced From:
Published Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2024 10:00:00 +0000

Did you miss our previous article…

Continue Reading


What Luddites can teach us about resisting an automated future


A story in comic format. In this first panel, two figures in silhouette look out at a modern city skyline.  The text reads,

A person's smiling headshot being uploaded.  The text reads,

The headshot from the previous panel with distroted features and a wavy new background. The text reads,

Two people look at the blank space where the framed picture of a flower has been stolen by a giant robot hand. The text reads,

Two panels. In the first, a scrabbly line resembling a signature. The text reads,

The text reads,

Text across the top continues, Read More


By: Tom Humberstone
Title: What Luddites can teach us about resisting an automated future
Sourced From:
Published Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2024 10:00:00 +0000

Did you miss our previous article…

Continue Reading