Yahoo says Iran claims are false

ZDnet's Richard Koman accuses Yahoo of having collaborated with the Iranian regime during the recent post-election protests. Koman says the online giant provided names and emails for some 200,000 Iranian Yahoo users to authorities so that those same authorities would "unban" Yahoo on the state-controlled internet. The blog post does not include a response by Yahoo, but promises "to provide further proof as the story unfolds." UPDATE: Yahoo denies all of the claims in the ZDnet article: "The allegations in the story are false. Neither Yahoo! nor any Yahoo! representative has met with or communicated with any Iranian officials, and Yahoo! has not disclosed user data to the Iranian government. "


This is according to a post on the Iranian Students Solidarity (Farsi) blog. My sources indicate the information comes from a group of resisters who have infiltrated the administration and are leaking out important information. These sources say that Yahoo representatives met with Iranian Internet authorities after Google and Yahoo were shut down during the protests and agreed to provide the names of Yahoo subscribers who also have blogs in exchange for the government lifting the blocks on Yahoo.
Exclusive! Yahoo provided Iran with names of 200,000 users (ZDnet via @rmack)


  1. They did this with China a few years ago.

    I would like to see the mashups between this newest collaboration and their new marketing campaign.

  2. Disgusting behaviour, perpetrated against people who can’t sue for breach of confidence. I would like to avoid dealing with Yahoo if this is true, looks like I need a flickr alternative.

  3. If the yahoo workers were unionised, they could strike for better workplace conditions, i.e. a workplace that doesn’t sell people out to authoritarian murderers. People in places like yahoo and google should seriously think about unionising. Perhaps the IWW?

  4. Damn, I wish even more that Yahoo hadn’t bought Flickr. The only photo site that fails to suck, and it’s tied in (and least corporately) with sleaze like this. Bleh.

  5. large companies have to show responsibility. I for one will follow this with interest and quit using any Yahoo! owned service if this turns out to be true.

    All is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing

  6. I will not be using any Yahoo services again if this is found to be true, I think many others will act the same way.

  7. @arikol

    I respect the sentiment behind your remarks, however, we can’t expect businesses to “act responsibly”. There is too much of an advantage in not doing so. The only way to ensure it happens is to force it.

    You mention that you’ll boycott Yahoo. Boycotts are rarely effective on their own since they generally rely on individual choices and not collective action. Where boycotts have been especially effective (South Africa) they have generally been supported by workers unions along the supply chain (transport workers, longshoreman, etc.)

    1. @jacobian

      A sufficient number of individual choices makes for collective action.

      If Yahoo think it is advantageous for their business to behave in this fashion then let us each do whatever we can to disabuse them of the notion.

  8. Ugh. If true, lets hope this will go as viral as photoshopped pictures of a model did. I wonder how hard it would be to generate an analogue to the old anti-apartheid investment schemes that used to be around back in the day. I really hope that the only morals these guys have are not respect for their wallets.

  9. There ought to be a law. We have no trouble sanctioning Iran. Why not sanction firms that do business in such a manner?

    Asides from us generally being in favor of racing to the bottom because it done to be “competitive” I mean.

  10. What is unfortunate is when such monolithic corporations become involved in activities like this. Take Google. There’s no way you can’t be dependent on any sort of Google app without sacrificing quite a few communication, information, or data tools. This goes double for smartphone users. Is the answer to go primitive? To rebel against the companies?

    In the case of Yahoo!, we could all cancel usage of Flickr or stop playing Fantasy Football, but the real power is in exposure. Expose Yahoo! for what they did. Make them explain it the way Nike had to explain and account for sweatshops. I’m not sure how much faith I’d have in this, but it’s a start.

  11. I have a Yahoo mail account that I will now no longer use ever again. I am setting this message as my auto-reply from now on:

    “Thank you for your message. However, I am no longer using this email account because of Yahoo’s continued policy to collaborate with despotic regimes in order to protect their business interests in those countries, even when it has been repeatedly demonstrated that their direct actions have led to detentions, quashing of free speech and open elections, torture and summary executions, in violation of internationally recognized standards of human rights.

    This is disgustingly abhorrent to me and I refuse to consciously use any of their products and service.

    Please contact me at from now on.

    Thank you!”

    I’m open to any other suggestions. Please list other ideas of this sort.

  12. I’m sure they denied the allegations. I’m also fairly sure that the ones denying the allegations believe Yahoo did not do this–or at least can claim they know nothing about it.

    Yet still, they did the same thing in China and was reported by a group without an agenda against Yahoo (at least if you don’t count this “rumor” itself)

    At this point it’s just a belief–but I’m coming down on the side of corporate corruption and past acts being a reality.

  13. The laundry list of previous Yahoo-related posts pretty much says it all. So the fox just passed this particular chicken coop on by, sure.

  14. Iran should not arouse concern. Georgia is the most dangerous flashpoint in Russia’s tense relations with the West. The Bible says: “At the appointed time [the king of the north = Russia] will return back [will regain the influence, which it lost after the break-up of the Soviet Union] and come into the south [many indicate that this might be Georgia], but it will not be as the former [1921] or as the latter [2008]. For the dwellers of coastlands of Kittim [the West] will come against him, and he will be humbled, and will return.” (Daniel 11:29,30a) Then Iran will be humbled also. “But ships will come from the direction of Kittim, troubling Asshur [Russia] and troubling Eber [inhabiting on the other side the Euphrates].” (Numbers 24:24a, BBE)

    At that time, peace will be taken from the earth and the “great sword” – nuclear sword – will be used. (Revelation 6:4) However, it will be neither the great tribulation nor “the end of the world” (Armageddon). As Jesus foretold, that will be “the beginning of birth pains”. (Mathew 24:7,8)

    If the Heavens planned a full return of Russia (and much suggests this) the present economic crisis will deepen. Then also the European Union and NATO will not stands.

    In the same way the earlier prophecy had fulfilled: “And (he) [the king of the north = Russia] will go back (to) his land with great wealth [1945]; and his heart (will be) against the holy covenant [state atheism]; and will act effectively; and turned back to his own land [the break-up of the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact, the return of Russian troops to country].” (Daniel 11:28)
    Ewiak Ryszard

    1. I think it was Bertrand Russell who pointed out that when people start interpreting the prophecies of the Bible, they all predict the exact history of the world up to the point when the interpretation was written, and after that fail in direct proportion to their specificity.

      Your (or Ewiak Ryszard’s) predictions are just as credible as Eric von Däniken’s. You’re conning us for a different reason (unless you’re also in it just to sell books), but it’s still a conjob.

    1. The link in this post goes to the retracted article page, which gives a timeline of the retraction and starts with a link to the official statement of retraction. I’m not sure why chimerical is treating it like a conspiracy.

      1. Antinous: There was no redaction linked on the original article at the time, though the redaction itself existed. (This was during my original comment submission on the day of (9th), which was turned down by moderators.) This article only updates that Yahoo denied it, but makes no mention that ZDnet denied it. There is a difference when the original publisher makes that correction.

  15. Thanks for your interpretation of the bible Anon. In future, please keep your paranoid religious delusions to yourself.

    I’m so tired of these no-thumber, redneck blobs that keep spewing their misguided ideology in public places (and worst of all in completely inaproprate places). Next you’re probably gonna try and convince us of that ‘intelligent design’ non-sense.

  16. There was no redaction linked on the original article at the time, though the redaction itself existed.

    The redaction link was up at least a day before you made your comment.

    1. As I stated in my previous comment. “(This was during my original comment submission on the day of (9th), which was turned down by moderators.)” I logged in and resubmitted that identical post on the 11th when I realized it had not gotten through moderators.

  17. Obviously the Iranian regime see the Yahoo E-mail service as a threat and want to stop the opposition movement from organising themselves via e-mail communications.

    This is so plainly a planted story it’s not even funny.

    Goebbels would be proud.

    Journalists everywhere should ensure that don’t become the tools of governments anywhere!

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