Think your email privacy is safe? Well perhaps it is to some extent here in the US, but China and Yahoo seem to be setting an unsettling precedence. Yahoo recently had to comply with the Chinese government’s legal demands to release a Chinese reporter’s email for prosecution. Yahoo Holdings has admitted that the information released lead to the conviction and 10 year sentence of Shi Tao.
According to Yahoo they have to comply with Chinese laws and that they receive numerous requests such as this all the time, and not just in China – well that’s reassuring. Apparently, other Chinese journalists have faced similar fates as the Chinese government continues to try and maintain its tight gripe on it’s people. As the Internet availability grows, so does the access to ‘uncensored’ information, and China’s leaders are afraid of this.
Yahoo now faces additional scrutiny from watch dog groups, and has been accused of assisting Chinese government officials for its benefit, especially in a country that’s population is an untapped “Internet gold mine”.