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Senior judges discuss "human search engine"

July 19th, 2008 5 comments

As the Internet has gained in influence in China, the “human search engine” and “internet mob” has also made itself increasingly known.  We’ve discussed several such stories here, including the case of Wang Qianyuan.  In the past, some unknown government bureau might have simply issued an edict banning this behavior… but in a hopeful sign of the maturing legal system in China, senior judges are discussing how to deal with a lawsuit related to one such incident.

ESWN provides background on the case of Jiang Yan, and her husband Wang Fei.  Jiang Yan committed suicide in the last few days of 2007, and that’s where the story begins.  The full story of her husband’s affair and cruelty was described on numerous internet sites by Jiang Yan’s sister and friends.  The human search engine and internet mob went into action, harassing Wang Fei and family at work and at home. 

Rather than just disappearing, Wang Fei has filed a lawsuit against three Internet sites and one of Jiang Yan’s friends.  I’m not going to get into the titillating details, but here’s an update from the China Youth Daily on the lawsuit (连接):

This reporter has learned that after the third hearing on the “first human search engine case”, the Beijing Chaoyang District Court has called a conference of senior judges.  54 senior judges have begun heated discussions on the topic.

Read more…

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