Feeds

Yahoo! Settles! With! Jailed! Chinese! Journos!

Though you're welcome to remove exclamations

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Yahoo! has settled a lawsuit from two Chinese journalists who went to the slammer after the company coughed up their online info.

The terms of the settlement were not fully disclosed, as The Associated Press reports, though the web giant told us that it's "working to provide financial, humanitarian and legal support" to the journalists and their families.

The settlement comes just one week after a US Congressional hearing scrutinized Yahoo!'s role into the jailing of one journo, former financial writer Shi Tao. During the hearing, House Committee on Foreign Affairs chairman Tom Lantos insisted that Yahoo! CEO Jerry Yang and general counsel Michael Callahan offer an apology to Shi's mother, who sat behind them. Yang and Callahan then turned and bowed to the weeping mum. But that didn't stop Lantos from referring to the two execs as "moral pygmies."

Meanwhile, another lawmaker - representative Christopher Smith - specifically urged Yahoo! to make amends by settling the journalists' lawsuit, which the company had previously asked a federal court to dismiss.

In May, Shi Tao joined journalist Wang Xiaoning and Wang's wife, Yu Ling, in suing Yahoo! and its subsidiaries, accusing the company of "aiding and abetting" their imprisonment - and their torture. Both journalists are serving ten years in prison for backing democracy via the web, and both were sentenced after Yahoo! slipped their IP addresses and other online data to the Chinese government.

"After meeting with the families, it was clear to me what we had to do to make this right for them, for Yahoo, and for the future," reads a statement from Chief Executive Jerry Yang. "Yahoo was founded on the idea that the free exchange of information can fundamentally change how people lead their lives, conduct their business, and interact with their governments. We are committed to making sure our actions match our values around the world."

Was the settlement sparked by last week's hearings? Yahoo! won't say. But a Yahoo! source did tell us that the company's decision had nothing to with the legal merits of the case: "Following a meeting with the families of the jailed dissidents, Jerry Yang decided that – no matter how strong our legal case – it was the right thing to do to meet the humanitarian needs of these families."

Yahoo! also said that it's "working to create a separate humanitarian relief fund to provide support to other political dissidents and their families."

"We are committed to making sure our actions match our values around the world," said Yang. "That’s why we are also working to establish a Human Rights Fund to provide humanitarian and legal aid to dissidents who have been imprisoned for expressing their views online."

Yang also said that Yahoo! believes "in the transformative power of the Internet." That's why the company is "committed to working to support free expression and privacy around the world." The company didn't say whether this is a brand new belief. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
SCREW YOU, EU: BBC rolls out Right To Remember as Google deletes links
Not even Google can withstand the power of Auntie
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register
You'll Read These And LOL Even Though They're Serious
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.