Wednesday, April 19, 2006
As most readers will know, Yahoo has been under severe criticism for its role in the prosecution of Shi Tao, a dissident journalist (discussed first here and then here). Now Reporters Without Borders (RWB) has accused Yahoo of helping police identify Jiang Lijun (姜立军). According to RWB's press release,
Jiang Lijun, 40, was sentenced to four years in prison for “subversion” on 18 November 2003, accused of seeking to use “violent means” to impose democracy. Police believed him to be the leader of a small group of cyberdissidents, which included the young Internet-user Liu Di.
The press release states that "[a]ccording to the verdict, Yahoo! Holdings (Hong Kong) confirmed that the email account ZYMZd2002 had been used jointly by Jiang Lijun and another pro-democracy activist, Li Yibing."
As in the Shi Tao case, the information was apparently provided by a Hong Kong company subject to Hong Kong law, not a mainland PRC company subject to mainland PRC law (for an analysis of which PRC laws apply in Hong Kong, click here). This raises interesting issues, not the least of which is one raised earlier in a letter to Jerry Yang from the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents' Club: whether Kong Kong privacy laws were violated. (I do not know enough to hazard an opinion - comments on this issue welcome.)