Yahoo Asks US Gov’t to Help Dissidents

Yahoo! CEO Jerry Yang has written to Secretary of State Condeleezza Rice, asking the U.S. government to demand the release of two Chinese dissidents, Shi Tao and Wang Xiaoning, who were both imprisoned after Yahoo! supplied their personal information to authorities. From AP:

In the letter to Rice, Yang wrote that the company “deeply regrets the circumstances” that led to the jailing of the two journalists. He said it runs counter to company values.

“We know we have an important role to play in advocating for the release of these political dissidents; we are also aware of the limits of private American companies engaging in foreign policy,” he wrote.

Yang called the State Department to take the lead and “actively pursue the release of Shi Tao, Wang Xiaoning and other Chinese dissidents who have been imprisoned for exercising internationally recognized rights of expression.”

In a separate report, AP says that in 2007, Yahoo! spent $1.6 million lobbying the U.S. government on issues relating to China and to foreign jurisdiction over U.S. companies.


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