Roger L. Simon

Do You Yahoo (not if you're a Chinese dissident)

On the eve of the US – China summit, “groovy” Yahoo is once again being accused of complicity with the Chinese regime in the jailing of a dissident:

Yahoo Inc. may have helped Chinese police to identify an Internet writer who was subsequently jailed for four years for subversion in the third such case, an advocacy group for journalists said on Wednesday. … Yahoo was accused of providing electronic records to Chinese authorities that led to an eight-year prison term for Li Zhi for subversion in 2003 and of helping to identify Shi Tao, who was accused of leaking state secrets abroad and jailed last year for 10 years.

The Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said it had obtained a copy of the verdict showing that Yahoo! Holdings (Hong Kong) helped Chinese police to identify Jiang by confirming that the e-mail account ZYMZd2002 had been used jointly by Jiang and another pro-democracy activist Li Yibing.

Yahoo, whose excuse in the past is that it “had to abide by local laws,” could not be reached for comment regarding the Reuters story. I could take a guess what Tom Lantos would say.