So it turns out that Yahoo apparently had more information about the Chinese government's investigation into journalist Shi Tao than it had let on.
It turns out the subpoena requested email account info from Yahoo because it was investigating "illegal provision of state secrets to foreign entities." Yahoo told Congress last year that the company "had no information about the nature of the investigation." Report from Wired News
Yahoo is now arguing with journalists over whether its testimony was accurate. Maybe, maybe not. But that's as irrelevant as the investigation by the U.S. Congress into whether Yahoo obeyed with the laws of a country in which it does business, leading to Shi's imprisonment.
We don't like what the Chinese government did. But Yahoo had no choice. If it is going to do business in China, it has to obey Chinese laws. A year ago, I talked with Google CEO Eric Schmidt about China. He said, "If we don't obey Chinese law, our employees there will be jailed and tortured. I have a problem with that."
Some people argue that U.S. search companies should not do business in China. How does that help the Chinese people? I don't like much of what the U.S. government does, either. But if this, the most secretive and dishonest Administration in U.S. history, subpoenas search and email companies for info about someone who gave away "secrets," they would have to comply.
What's the alternative? Not offering a search engine for the U.S.? That'd show them.
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