House panel looks at Yahoo! China case

Oct. 16, 2007 at 10:05 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- A U.S. House committee is looking into whether a top Yahoo! Inc. official misled Congress about the Internet company's actions in a Chinese human rights case.

The case involves a Chinese journalist, Shi Tao, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison after the Chinese government asked for and received information about him from Yahoo!, including his IP address and e-mails, The Hill newspaper reported.

A company official told a congressional hearing last year that it did not know the nature of the Chinese investigation when it handed over the material. However, the Dui Hua Foundation in San Francisco released documents casting doubt on the claim.

Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos, D-Calif., said the panel "has established that Yahoo! provided false information to Congress in early 2006," the newspaper reported.

“We want to clarify how that happened, and to hold the company to account for its actions ... And we want to examine what steps the company has taken since then to protect the privacy rights of its users in China,” he said.

Yahoo! spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler told The Hill the allegation is “grossly unfair and mischaracterizes the nature and intent of our past testimony.”

Topics: Tom Lantos
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