Yahoo! response regarding Amnesty International action on freedom of expression in China
Yahoo! condemns punishment of any activity internationally recognized as free expression, whether that punishment takes place in China or anywhere else in the world. While we absolutely believe companies have a responsibility to identify appropriate practices in each market in which they do business, we also think there is a vital role for government-to-government discussion of the larger issues involved. The Shi Tao case raises profound and troubling questions about basic human rights. Nevertheless, it is important to lay out the facts. When Yahoo! China in Beijing was required to provide information about the user, who we later learned was Shi Tao, we had no information about the nature of the investigation... At the time the demand was made for information in this case, Yahoo! China was legally obligated to comply with the requirements of Chinese law enforcement... When we receive a demand from law enforcement authorized under the law of the country in which we operate, we must comply... Failure to comply in China could have subjected Yahoo! China and its employees to criminal charges, including imprisonment. Ultimately, U.S. companies in China face a choice: comply with Chinese law, or leave. Yahoo! continues to believe the continued presence and growth of the Internet in China empowers its citizens and will help advance Chinese society.