The role of the US Internet firm Yahoo in helping Chinese security officials to finger a journalist sentenced to 10 years for e-mailing “state secrets” is filtering into mainland China. The revelation reinforces a conviction among many Chinese “netizens” that there is no place security forces can’t find them. ..
Legally, Yahoo is not obligated to cooperate with Chinese police. Yet in practice it may have to. Unanswered so far are the terms by which Yahoo Hong Kong, operating under the “one country two systems” formula that allows autonomy, was forced to conform to Chinese requests, despite its Hong Kong registry.
The Shi case also highlights vast differences in the Western and Chinese definitions of “state secrets.” Beijing includes information on statistics, child labor laws, police behavior, strikes, and riots.