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September 06, 2005
YAHOO! HELPS TURN THE SCREWS:
According to Reporters Sans Frontieres (Reporters Without Borders), Information supplied by Yahoo! helped Chinese journalist Shi Tao get 10 years in prison
The text of the verdict in the case of journalist Shi Tao – sentenced in April to 10 years in prison for “divulging state secrets abroad” – shows that Yahoo! Holdings (Hong Kong) Ltd. provided China’s state security authorities with details that helped to identify and convict him. It reveals that the company provided the Chinese investigating organs with detailed information that apparently enabled them to link Shi’s personal e-mail account (on the Chinese Yahoo! service at yahoo.com.cn) and the specific message containing information treated as a “state secret” to the IP address of his computer. More details from RSF here.
Shi Tao was jailed because he e-mailed sensitive political information to be posted on dissident websites hosted outside China. His case is a cautionary tale to bloggers around the world: If you are publicizing information and views that your government doesn’t want exposed - even if you believe you have the right to do so under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - companies like Yahoo! will not shield you from your government.
I don't like this.