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China jails software developer for selling email addresses

Two years in chokey for passing 30,000 addresses to US civil rights group

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The owner of a Chinese software company has been jailed for two years after a Shanghai court found him guilty of sending 30,000 e-mail addresses to US-based pro-democracy organisation VIP Reference. Arrested in March last year and convicted last month behind closed doors, Lin Hai was sentenced yesterday. As well as being jailed and fined £750, the court also ordered officials to confiscate Lin's computer equipment. Throughout the trial Lin maintained that he sold the addresses as part of a business deal but the court ruled instead that his actions were tantamount to subversion against the state. ®

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