International watchdog group Reporters Without Borders is implicating Internet titan Yahoo in the jailing of a Chinese cyberdissident Jiang Lijun. It marks the third time Yahoo has been accused of providing information to Chinese authorities which has been used in the arrest and imprisonment of Chinese writers.
According to court documents obtained by Reports Without Borders, on November 18, 2003, Chinese authorities sentenced Jiang Lijun to four years in prison for “subversion” and threatening to use violent means to impose western-style democracy. However, unlike previous cases involving Yahoo and writers Shi Tao and Li Zhi, in citing information found in the Yahoo mail account of Jiang Lijun, the verdict does not specify whether the information was obtained directly from Yahoo, from Yahoo’s local partner Alibaba, or from Li Yibing, another user of the same account who is apparently suspected of having been a police informant.
Reporters Without Borders and other groups are urging Yahoo and other major US. companies offering Internet services in China to locate servers handling email and other services outside of China so they aren’t susceptible to information demands from the Chinese government. Google has already moved search data from its Chinese operations to servers located in the United States.