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."