Writer Liu Xiaobo has posted an article which reveals that Yahoo cooperated with Chinese police in 2003, much earlier than the Shi Tao case. Yahoo provided evidence to authorities for the arrest of Chinese Internet user Li Zhi, who was charged with “subverting state power” and sentenced to eight years in prison. The original defense statement from the lawyers is available on the Beijing-based Wu Luan Zhao Yan law firm’s website. If you cannot access it through the firm’s site, it is also available here. The following excerpt is from Liu’s article, posted on Boxun.com (translated and links embedded by CDT):
Zhang Sizhi and Yan Ruyu, two lawyers, in their “second trial defense statement for Li Zhi’s subversion of state power case” proves that Yahoo closely cooperated with Chinese police much earlier than Shi Tao’s case.
According to this defense statement, Li Zhi has been charged with the criminal act of “attempting to overthrow the socialist system,” on the basis of three points: 1. Applying three times to an overseas hostile organization in order to join the China Democracy Party and receiving an appointment; 2. Establishing a personal web page at Muzi web site, propagandizing hostile thoughts; 3. Inciting others to join the China Democracy Party.
The fourth section of the defense statement challenges the criminal evidence presented by the government, including the part mentioning that Yahoo Hong Kong Ltd provided evidence, as follows:
” (2) On August 1, 2003, Yahoo Hong Kong Ltd provided to the public security agency Proof of the User’s Information, ‘provided relevant information about user lizhi340100,’ and also explained ‘for more detailed information, see attached documents. The Attached documents include the user’s registered information and email from that account.’ Therefore the part that can be considered evidence is the content of that attachment. But the attachment was not provided to the court. According to Yahoo’s explanation, the content of the attachments not only reflects the situation of the mail exchanges, but also can have the function of “resolving some doubts.” Therefore, we hope the court will review the attachment. We certainly hope the defense lawyers will be allowed to review the documents so we can understand the full situation in order to defend our client. This is a matter of the rights of our client. Please remedy this situation.”
UPDATE: See also “Yahoo accused in jailing of 2nd China Internet user” from Reuters. See the RSF statement here. See also “Yahoo! in China and Degrees of Evil by Rebecca MacKinnon on her Rconversation blog.