Yahoo Apologizes To U.S. Congress

    November 2, 2007

Michael Callahan, an executive president and general council at Yahoo has apologized to lawmakers for offering faulty information about the company working with a Chinese government request for user information about a journalist who was later jailed.

Callahan said the he deeply regretted comments he made during two hearings in February 2006, and he had met with members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs to apologize according to the Wall Street Journal.

Michael Callahan A Yahoo spokeswoman said Callahan would apologize again at a committee hearing next week where he and Yahoo Chief Executive Jerry Yang will testify about actions that led to the imprisonment of the journalist.

In the hearings Callahan said Yahoo provided the Chinese government information in 2004 about one of its users, Shi Tao, not knowing why Chinese officials wanted the information. The journalist was sentenced to 10 years in prison for revealing state secrets.

China’s request to Yahoo contained a reference to state secrets, Yahoo says that Callahan learned of this in October 2006 but did not share the information with the committee. "I neglected to directly alert the committee of this new information and that oversight led to a misunderstanding that I deeply regret and have apologized to the Committee for creating," Callahan said.

A Yahoo spokeswoman said the problem was because of a bad translation of the 2004 Chinese request given to a company lawyer in the region. Yahoo did not receive a correct translation until after the 2006 hearing.