I must have missed this story the first few times it came around, but luckily, Wired was able to catch me up. Apparently, Congress is mightily upset that Yahoo! complied with a federal subpoena in an attempt to identify and convict a reporter of leaking state secrets. When informed that Yahoo! is now working to get said reporter reporter released, Representative Tom Lantos, a California Democrat and chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, stated: “Why is it such a complicated issue to help a family whose breadwinner is in prison because of Yahoo’s cooperation?”
Lantos is absolutely correct – sort of. Private companies should absolutely not be using their resources to aid the government in collecting information on political dissidents so that those who disagree with the state can be jailed by it. Unfortunately, the only reason Lantos is against such support is because the federal subpoena with which Yahoo! complied was issued by the Chinese government. Had it been a U.S. Federal government he surely would have been calling them terrorists had they refused to give the information.