Yahoo’s fingering of reporter hurts tech funding – James Borton

From Asia Times:

Washington is a complex welter of emotions on China. Lately, each day there appear to be fewer “panda huggers” in the US State Department, and at the Pentagon they have become scarcer still. Beijing’s sentencing of Chinese journalist Shi Tao to 10 years in prison after he e-mailed comments made in a newspaper staff meeting to a New York-based group has only exacerbated this trend. The notes, which concerned overseas Chinese returning for the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre, led to his arrest last November and a conviction this April for “providing state secrets abroad”.

While similar cases have occurred before, what made this one different is that the Chinese police tracked down Shi with the help of US-based Internet portal Yahoo. In a widely circulated news bulletin, Reporters Without Borders, a press freedom group, revealed last week that Holdings (Hong Kong) had provided Chinese authorities with details that helped to identify and convict Shi, who was sentenced in April of this year. ’s apparent complicity has created an uproar abroad and contributed to a wave of anti-Chinese government sentiment in the US, which comes not only in the wake of a meeting between President George Bush and President Hu Jintao in New York, but just as a movement to rein in technology investments in mainland China has been finding increasing support within the influential US-China Economic Security Commission.

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