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Yahoo! is apologising to the Senate committee for misleading it about what the internet firm knew about its cooperation with China's pursuit of dissidents.

Michael Callahan, a Yahoo! VP, told the committee the firm had no idea why the Chinese government was investigating journalist Shi Tao. But according to today's Wall Street Journal, Callahan will reveal that the company did in fact receive documents outlining the Chinese investigation into democracy activist Shi Tao back in 2004 before it handed over information which led to his arrest.

Shi Tao got a 10 year sentence after Yahoo! gave investigators emails and IP addresses.

Callahan is expected to tell the House Committee on Foreign Affairs that the company did have information about the kind of investigation against Shi Tao.

"Months after I testified before two House subcommittees on Yahoo!'s approach to business in China, I realised Yahoo! had additional information about a 2004 order issued by the Chinese government seeking information about a Yahoo! China user," Mr Callahan said in the statement, according to the Financial Times.

"I neglected to directly alert the committee of this new information and that oversight led to a misunderstanding that I deeply regret and have apologised to the committee for creating."

More from the FT here.

Michael Callahan and Yahoo!'s CEO Jerry Yang will both give more evidence to the committee next week on Tuesday 6 November. ®

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