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Yahoo!segow for Shi Tao

Such a nice guy our Jerry. Ask Shi Tao.

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BEIJING (Rixstep) -- 楊致遠 was born in Taipei Taiwan and moved to San Jose California when he was ten. He says he knew only one word of English at the time.

楊致遠, aka Yáng Zhìyuǎn aka 'Jerry' Yang, went on with David Filo to found Yahoo. And forget his roots.

Yahoo have been investing heavily in China of late. All the contenders for the search market have. What currently distinguishes Yahoo is that they are actively collaborating with the repressive regime in Beijing to put dissidents behind bars.

Chinese journalist Shi Tao used to work for the daily Contemporary Business News; while working at the CBN, Tao saw an internal message sent by authorities warning journalists of the dangers of social destabilisation and risks resulting from the return of certain dissidents on the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Shi Tao thought the message important enough to be posted online; the authorities saw it, but had no way of identifying the poster.

Enter Yahoo.

The court transcripts reveal that it was Yahoo Holdings (Hong Kong) Ltd provided the Chinese authorities with detailed information linking the mail account huoyan-1989@yahoo.com.cn to Shi Tao. Tao was convicted of 'divulging state secrets abroad' and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in April of this year.

Yahoo Holdings (Hong Kong) Ltd is subject to Hong Kong legislation - but not this type of avid cooperation. Yet it is customary to provide information when presented with a court order. In the case of Shi Tao, no court order was ever provided. Yahoo Holdings (Hong Kong) Ltd volunteered the information.

Yahoo Searches Chinese Style

For years Jerry Yang's Yahoo have allowed their Chinese search engine to be censored.

Yahoo have voluntarily signed the extraordinarily controversial 'Public Pledge on Self-Regulation and Professional Ethics for China Internet Industry', agreeing to abide by Chinese censorship regulations.

Searches deemed sensitive by the wrinkled despots in Beijing such as 'Taiwan independence' yield only watered down results.

楊致遠 and his friends have made an enormous investment in China. In 2003 they bought the 3721.com search engine for $120 million; more recently they spent nearly $1 billion to acquire a 40% interest in the new search giant Alibaba.com.

Clearly with that kind of money at stake one has to send one's former countrymen up the river from time to time.

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