News / Asia

Censorship Lawsuit Against Baidu, China Gets New Life in US

China's top search engine, Baidu Inc is seen on a laptop screen.
China's top search engine, Baidu Inc is seen on a laptop screen.
A U.S. judge has given a lawsuit by pro-democracy activists against Baidu Inc. and the People's Republic of China new life, even after the country invoked its authority as a sovereign nation to block the censorship case.
U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman in Manhattan said the activists were entitled to serve their lawsuit on Baidu's lawyer in New York, without infringing China's sovereign protections.
Saying the issue had never been analyzed in detail, Furman on Friday night rejected Baidu's contention that allowing service would turn the part of the Hague Convention that China invoked into a “dead letter” by letting a court circumvent it.
The convention is a multilateral treaty that makes it easier to serve court papers internationally.
In their May 2011 lawsuit, eight New York writers and video producers had accused Baidu and China of conspiring to suppress their political speech from Baidu's search engine, the country's most widely used.
The plaintiffs said the content could be found via search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Microsoft's Bing, and Google's YouTube. They sought millions of dollars in damages for alleged violations of their First Amendment rights and human rights law.
Furman had dismissed the lawsuit on March 25 but put the dismissal on hold to let the plaintiffs propose another means to serve Baidu.
In giving the plaintiffs another chance to pursue their case, Furman said the Hague Convention was designed to ensure “sufficient” notice to recipients abroad of court documents.
Allowing service in the United States “in a manner that does not call upon China to effect service (in that country) does not override its invocation of its own sovereignty and security; to the contrary, it honors that invocation,” the judge wrote.
Carey Ramos, a partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan representing Baidu, declined to comment.
Furman gave the plaintiffs 30 days to serve the complaint to Baidu's U.S. lawyer, and 120 days to serve China through diplomatic channels.
Stephen Preziosi, a lawyer for the activists, said he intends to meet those deadlines. “In terms of fairness and procedurally, the court got it right,” Preziosi said.
The lawsuit was filed one year after Google Inc.  pulled its search engine out of China after hitting censorship issues. China has also blocked YouTube and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

You May Like

Syrian Rebels Poised for Anti-Russia Collaboration

Forty-one insurgent groups issue joint statement vowing retaliation for Russian air offensives More

Political Maneuver Revives Export-Import Bank's Chances

Parliamentary tactic gets bill out of committee, but it faces opposition in the Senate More

Beijing Warns US on S. China Sea Patrols

Warning follows news reports Thursday that US military is planning to sail warships close to artificial islands Beijing has been aggressively building More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Enuff Warz
June 11, 2013 12:56 AM
And the same US judges wont allow innocent victims of drone attacks to bring lawsuits against the US criminals who are behind these murders, where is justice for those killed without any fault?

Is it only to be applied against Muslims and Chinese, and others the US does not care for?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdrawsi
Jim Malone
October 09, 2015 12:32 AM
The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

VOA Blogs