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Congressional Commitee Rips Yahoo Execs 293

A number of readers sent word of the hearing by the US House Foreign Affairs Committee in which committee members raked two Yahoo execs over the coals. "While technologically and financially you are giants, morally you are pygmies," the committee chairman Tom Lantos, D-Calif., said angrily after hearing from Jerry Yang and Michael Callahan about Yahoo's actions that resulted in the arrest and imprisonment of a Chinese dissident. In 2004 Yahoo turned over information about journalist Shi Tao's online activities requested by Chinese authorities. In Feb. 2006, Yahoo's General Counsel Callahan testified that he had not known the nature of the investigation the authorities were conducting. He later learned that several employees of Yahoo China were aware at the time that the investigation involved "state secrets," but Callahan did not go back to Congress to amend his testimony. Committee members were withering in their disdain for Yahoo's refusal to help Shi Tao's family after his arrest.

Nobody said computers were going to be polite.