Yahoo Accused Again; 3rd Journalist Jailed

    April 19, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has issued a statement claiming Yahoo was complicit in the jailing of Chinese journalist Jiang Lijun, sentenced to four years in prison in November 2003 over pro-democracy articles he wrote.

Yahoo once again has been implicated in the jailing of a journalist. Authorities in China accused Jiang Lijun of subversion based partly on evidence found in an email inbox provided by Yahoo! Holdings (Hong Kong).

However, the evidence found in that email account could have been delivered by Li Yibing, who also had access to it. RSF thinks Li Yibing may have been a police informant who provided that evidence, a draft of an email, to authorities. The organization does contend that Yahoo! Holdings gave police information tying the account to the two users.

RSF has asked Yahoo to do something about the situation:

“Little by little we are piecing together the evidence for what we have long suspected, that Yahoo! is implicated in the arrest of most of the people that we have been defending,” the press freedom organization said.

“Last week we went to the headquarters of the company to urge them to end this collaboration. We called on them to remove their email servers from China, because it is the only way to avoid taking part in the current crackdown against journalists and democrats.”

“We hope this Internet giant will not, as it has each time it has been challenged previously, hide behind its local partner, Alibaba, to justify its behavior. Whatever contract it has with this partner, the email service is marketed as Yahoo!” the organization said.

Yahoo’s position on two other arrests made using evidence the Internet company provided has been to contend that the firm must obey Chinese law, and if served with a lawful request for information to fulfill that request.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.