Yahoo! redistributed and reiterated their Monday statement on what measures they’re taking to address concerns about their compliance with censorship and with the Chinese police in arresting dissidents.
Here are some exceprts from written testimony by Michael Callahan, Senior VP and General Counsel:
Regarding the Shi Tao case, he repeated a lot of Yahoo!’s recent statements about the need to follow local laws. Then:
“Let me take this opprotunity to correct inaccurate reports that Yahoo! Hong Kong gave information to the Chinese government. This is absolutely untrue. Yahoo! Hong Kong was not involved in any disclosure of information about Mr. Shi to the Chinese government. In this case, the Chinese government ordered Yahoo! China to provide user information, and Yahoo! China complied with Chinese law. To be clear — Yahoo! China and Yahoo! Hong Kong have always operated independently of one another. There was not then, nor is there today, any exchange of user information between Yahoo! Hong Kong and Yahoo! China.”
This clears up some confusion about where the user data for Yahoo!'s Chinese email was physically located. Inside the People's Republic of China.
Yahoo!'s action points:
..around the world, we are committing to the following:
• Collective Action: We will work with industry, government, academia and NGOs to explore policies to guide industry practices in countries where content is treated more restrictively than in the United States and to promote the principles of freedom of speech and expression.
• Compliance Practices: We will continue to employ rigorous procedural protections under applicable laws in response to government requests for information, maintaining our commitment to user privacy and compliance with the law.
• Information Restrictions: Where a government requests that we restrict search results, we will do so if required by applicable law and only in a way that impacts the results as narrowly as possible. If we are required to restrict search results, we will strive to achieve maximum transparency to the user.
• Government Engagement: We will actively engage in ongoing policy dialogue with governments with respect to the nature of the Internet and the free flow of information.
Callahan then concludes:
“Let me make one final comment about the role of the U.S. government. We urge the U.S. government to take a leadership role on a government-to-government basis. The Internet industry in the United States, including the companies appearing before you today, have changed the way the world communicates, searches for, discovers, and shares information. No other medium in history has the potential to effect such great change so rapidly. We operate businesses that transcend boundaries, in a world of countries and borders .The strength of this industry and the power of our user base is formidable to be sure. But, we cannot do it alone. We will do everything we can to advance these principles. Ultimately, the greatest leverage lies with the U.S. government.”
Passing the buck?? Sounds like it to me...