Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Chinese Internet Rep Flees From UK Reporter

Posted by Tom Foremski - November 3, 2006

 A lot of people have personally expressed to me their disgust at Yahoo's involvement in acting as what Reporters Without Borders has called a "police informant" in the case of blogger Shi Tao.

David Smith, a reporter for The Guardian in the UK, writes about China:

The communist state stands accused of censoring search engines and persecuting bloggers such as Shi Tao, who was jailed for 10 years after using his Yahoo! account to email a US-based website about the government's attempt to control media coverage of the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown.

I tried to give China the right to reply by approaching Hu Qiheng, chairwoman of the Internet Society of China, for a full and frank interview in this Sunday's Observer.

Can we discuss openness? 'I don't want to talk about that,' she said. 'It's outside our remit.'

And with that she turned heel and fled into the crowd.

Later, I'm told, she said in a workshop discussion that all governments need ethical starting points from which to regulate the net. Asked why the UN's declaration of human rights, including the right to freedom of speech, would not do, she simply smiled and nodded and said she'd prefer to hear everybody else's views.

Link to Great Wall of Silence from Guardian Unlimited: Technology

I'm not going to let this issue drop. SVW is going to be watching Silicon Valley and other US companies, and their involvement in China very closely. Watch this space.

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