News

Yahoo Weighs in on Free Speech in China

China should not punish people for expressing their political views on the Internet, Yahoo Inc. said Monday, a day after the mother of a Chinese reporter announced she was suing the U.S. company for helping officials imprison her son.

Yahoo criticized China in a brief statement that didn't specifically mention the case of jailed journalist Shi Tao, whose mother visited Hong Kong on Sunday. Shi was sentenced to 10 years in 2005 after sending an e-mail about Chinese media restrictions.

The company has acknowledged sharing information about Shi with Chinese authorities.

"Yahoo is dismayed that citizens in China have been imprisoned for expressing their political views on the Internet," the company said in the statement faxed to The Associated Press, which asked Yahoo to comment on Shi's lawsuit.

The Internet company, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., also said it has told China that it condemns "punishment of any activity internationally recognized as free expression."

However, Yahoo added that companies operating in China must comply with Chinese law or risk having their employees face civil or criminal penalties.

Shi was writing for the financial publication Contemporary Business News when he circulated an e-mail with his notes about a government circular about media restrictions. He was convicted of leaking state secrets.

Shi's legal challenge, filed on May 29 in U.S. District Court, is part of a lawsuit filed earlier by the World Organization for Human Rights USA. The group is suing Yahoo and its subsidiary in Hong Kong. Also named is Alibaba.com Inc., a Yahoo partner that runs Yahoo China.

On Sunday in Hong Kong, Shi's mother, Gao Qingsheng, insisted her son was innocent and that the family would press ahead with the legal action.

"I believe my son is innocent. We will fight until the end," she told reporters.

The 61-year-old mother was in South Africa last week to receive the annual Golden Pen of Freedom prize on behalf of her son.

Plaintiffs in the American case also include imprisoned dissident Wang Xiaoning and his wife, Yu Ling.

Wang was sentenced in September 2003 on the charge of "incitement to subvert state power," a vaguely defined statute that the Communist Party frequently uses to punish its political critics.

The Chinese government said Wang distributed pro-democracy writings authored by him and others by e-mail and through Yahoo Groups, an online e-mail community.

Featured

  • OneDrive Users To Get Storage Options, Plus New Personal Vault

    Microsoft announced a few OneDrive enhancements, including storage-option additions, plus a new "Personal Vault" feature for added security assurance.

  • Cloud Services Starting To Overtake On-Prem Database Management Systems

    Database management system (DBMS) growth is happening more on the cloud services side than on the traditional "on-premises" side, according to a report by Gartner Inc.

  • How To Replace an Aging Domain Controller

    If the hardware behind your domain controllers has become outdated, here's a step-by-step guide to performing a hardware refresh.

  • Azure Backup for SQL Server 2008 Available at Preview Stage

    Microsoft added the option of using the Azure Backup service to provide recovery support for SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 when those workloads are hosted on Azure virtual machines.

comments powered by Disqus

Office 365 Watch

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.