Is publicly notarized proof that your internet service provider has blocked your company website strong enough to seek damages? Just a week after National Legal System Propaganda Day, Shanghai-based IT blogger Du “Yetaai” Dongjin will have his second day in court where it is expected the defendant, China Telecom, will continue to challenge Du's evidence: courtroom 12, 5/F, #1 Intermediate People's Court at #1200 Hongqiao Rd., Shanghai, 1:45pm on December 11, 2007.
In a Dec. 2 post, Du writes on his Blogspot blog Very Beginner (also blocked):
On April 28 this year, citizen Du Dongjin brought action against Shanghai Telecom for violation of service agreement. The complainant's intent, to fight black box-style of internet supervision by means of a lawsuit, has strong constitutional grounding. He states: with the combination of the judgment passed by the court in Shanghai's New Pudong district and the evidence enumerated therein, we feel that the facts put forth by the complainant are accurate, and that the lawsuit is fair and reasonable. According to our daily experiences of using the internet, we can also confirm that the visitation of many websites from here in China has been subject to gratuitous prohibition. Yet, while knowing full well that such websites are not in violation of the laws of the People's Republic of China, there are no means by which to notify a relevant department to assume responsibility and fix the error. Du Dongjin has listed evidence in regard to this litigation which amply proves that Shanghai Telecom has taken part in the supervision of these websites. As China Telecom is the sole owner in Shanghai Telecom, combined with what we have shown is true in all other provinces, it is assumed that China Telecom cannot evade blame.
Further, we feel, regardless of whether Shanghai Telecom in this has breached contract, Shanghai Telecom and the relevant internet supervision department's supervision of the internet constitutes violation of the constitution of the People's Republic of China. What's more, Shanghai Telecom's response to the complainant of attributing the malfunction to “irreversible reasons” is all the more an extreme disregard for civil rights. In view of a lack at present of a mature process for taking constitutional action, we strongly appeal to the National People's Congress in regards to this unconstitutional censorship, hoping that NPC delegates will raise a corresponding motion and make their own contribution to the improvement of Chinese society.
Recently, Du has been calling on readers to join him in a class action lawsuit, emphasizing the relatively simple procedure involved:
本人电子邮件，yetaai at gmail dot comg 去掉最后的字母g。
What I most hope to see are lawyers or other legal professionals join in a group defense for this lawsuit's second hearing, but not limited to legal professionals. I hope this lawsuit can become a major case and open stage for constitutional action in China. With that in mind, I, the complainant, Du Dongjin, along with this case's representative, Li Li, hereby jointly invite friends from every profession to sign up. The intent is to retain one more leading lawyer (to take part in the second hearing), and a maximum total of five joint complainants (only a signature is needed). Please contact this blogger via e-mail.
Being a legal professional is not relevant, one need only be of this earth and able to understand the legal text. If you are indeed willing to sign in your real name and express your support, please print out the case summary, sign your name and the date, scan it in and e-mail it to me. You're also welcome to send a photo and brief introduction of yourself. All images will collected by myself and burnt onto a CD-ROM to be released. At the same time, all blogger and media friends are welcome to pass on and report this news on in any way they see fit.
My e-mail is ‘yetaai at gmail dot comg’ but drop the last g.
An anonymous comment left Dec. 3 on that post reads:
I agree, you are a pioneer. As for whether internet regulation can be scrapped at this time, I'm not too optimistic. But along with this people will gradually start to realize, and sooner or later these policies will be aborted.
It remains to be blogged whether Du has found the five co-complainants he seeks, but in the meantime supportive news of his cause continues to spread, as well as resonate with other blocked bloggers:
I've stayed strong here on Blogspot for a few years and I won't be moving [blogs] now. And this dude (complainant Du Dongjin) is even more stubborn than me; I wouldn't have been able to stick it through, taking Shanghai Telecom to court. Never mind how the court decides to rule, and let's support this dude!
And even inspire:
The story behind this is that Du Dongjin was unsatisfied with the GFW
and Shanghai Telecom's arbitrary blocking of websites. And took these freaks to court in Shanghai.
For the full story and details on how to support him, please step on over to Du's blog: http://yetaai.blogspot.com
One more thing, I hope everyone passes this news widely around, let as many people know and follow this as possible!
Also, my own complaint to the Ministry of Information Industry
against China Unicom
for blocking WAP sites has been successful, and China Unicom has promised to make amends.