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Published: Tuesday, 11/13/2007

Yahoo settles lawsuit over jailed Chinese journalists for undisclosed terms

ASSOCIATED PRESS

SAN FRANCISCO - Yahoo Inc. on Tuesday settled a lawsuit with two Chinese journalists who were jailed after the company provided Chinese authorities with information about their online activities.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The two journalists and a family member sued the Sunnyvale-based company earlier this year after Yahoo HK, Yahoo's wholly owned subsidiary based in Hong Kong, gave Chinese authorities e-mails containing pro-democracy literature. The jailed journalists alleged in the lawsuit that jailers have tortured them and that Yahoo was responsible.

The company has denied any responsibility and maintained it was complying with Chinese law when it turned over the e-mails.

The case has raised questions about whether Internet companies should cooperate with governments that deny freedom of speech and frequently crack down on journalists.

It also has been the subject of congressional hearings, where lawmakers accused the company of collaborating with an oppressive communist regime.

Neither side disclosed terms of the settlement other than to agree that Yahoo would pay the attorneys fees of the two journalists and the family member who sued. The three were represented by The World Organization for Human Rights in Washington.

Shi Tao, a former writer for the financial publication Contemporary Business News, was jailed under state secrecy laws for allegedly providing state secrets to foreigners.

According to the suit, the other journalist, Wang Xiaoning, was arrested in 2002 after Yahoo HK gave police information linking him to his anonymous e-mails and other political writings he posted online.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblde.com



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