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Hong Kong investigators drop case against Yahoo! for aiding reporter conviction

[JURIST] Hong Kong investigators on Wednesday dropped a case [press release] that alleged Yahoo!'s Hong Kong branch [corporate website] aided China in the prosecution [JURIST report] and ten-year imprisonment of journalist Shi Tao [Wikipedia profile] for divulging state secrets abroad. The Hong Kong Office of Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data [official website] found insufficient evidence to prove that Yahoo! [corporate website] actually gave personal information to China in its investigation of Shi. Hong Kong lawmaker Albert Ho [Wikipedia profile] had accused Yahoo! of helping China authorities link to Shi's e-mail account and computer, where they found evidence that he sent an internal Communist Party message to foreign websites.

Shi is just one of several Chinese activists [JURIST report] that Yahoo! has been accused of helping police identify. Jiang Lijun [Wikipedia profile] was jailed in 2003 for allegedly promoting democracy through "violent means" on the Internet. Prosecutors had relied on evidence that connected Jiang with an e-mail account known to be used for distributing pro-democracy information and which likely came from Yahoo!. Additionally, Yahoo! allegedly supplied information that jailed Li Zhi [Times report] for eight years after trying to join the banned China Democratic Party [party website]. AP has more. From China, The Standard has local coverage.

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