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Yahoo turns over journalist's information, resulting in imprisonment

The Dark Wraith has an excellent post up at Big Brass Blog on what mega-corps like Yahoo! and Microsoft are willing to do to make inroads into the lucrative Chinese market. In Yahoo’s case, officials were willing to turn over information about a journalist to the government that has resulted in the reporter receiving a jail term.

Shi Tao was sentenced in April by a Chinese court to ten years in prison, ostensibly for sending state secrets in an e-mail message. The e-mail message in fact contained his notes on a government document that set forth restrictions on Chinese media. The France-based group Reporters without Borders alleges in a September 6, 2005, article that Yahoo! Holdings (Hong Kong) Ltd. “…provided the Chinese investigating organs with detailed information that apparently enabled them to link Shi’s personal e-mail account ( and the specific message containing information treated as a ‘state secret’ to the IP address of his computer.”

Yahoo! and other companies, including Microsoft, providing e-mail, search engine, and browser support add-ons have been accused in recent months of seeking access to the enormous Chinese market by acquiescing to censorship and other content restriction requirements of the Chinese government, which has recently become more aggressive in curtailing use of and access to the Internet and in censoring television and other broadcast media content that challenge state-mandated cultural values.

Please go read more about this important story.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding