Yahoo Takes Heat for Role in Chinese Case

Congressman calls company 'spineless' for surrendering email
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2007 3:48 PM CST
Gao Qin Sheng, mother of a reporter jailed in China, second from right, and human rights activist Harry Wu, right, listens to an interpreter as Yahoo Chief Executive Officer Jerry Yang and General Counsel...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang suffered intense criticism from a senior Democratic congressman today for not being entirely forthcoming about the search engine's role in the imprisonment of a Chinese dissident, the Financial Times reports. Yahoo had told the House foreign affairs committee it didn't know why Chinese authorities wanted information about Shi Tao's email.

In fact, Yahoo had received a Chinese order indicating that Tao, who is now serving a 10-year sentence, was an alleged dissident. At today's hearing, chairman Tom Lantos accused the company of a coverup and said Yahoo had become "a willing participant in political witch-hunts emanating from Beijing." Yang defended his company's actions in a "challenging market" and said, "We remain fully committed to protecting human rights."