PEN has filed a formal complaint against Yahoo Hong Kong accusing the Internet service provider of handing personal email account information over to the Chinese government. The account in question belonged to journalist and poet Shi Tao, who is now serving a 10-year prison sentence for “leaking state secrets abroad” via email.
Mr Yu [the director of the Independent Chinese PEN Center‘s Writers in Prison Committee] says that the key to establishing Yahoo’s involvement is found in article four, which refers to “account holder information furnished by Yahoo Holdings (Hong Kong) Ltd”, and gives details of the telephone number and address associated with the account holder.
This evidence appears to contradict an earlier statement by Yahoo founder, Jerry Yang, who claimed that the company was abiding by “local law”.
“They’re a Hong Kong company,” Mr Ho told the Associated Press, “Why do they have to comply with Chinese requests?”
You can read some of Shi Tao’s poetry here.