BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 November 2007, 20:22 GMT
Yahoo settles its China lawsuit
Yahoo's Michael Callahan and Jerry Yang at the House committee hearing
Yahoo senior officers were criticised in a congressional hearing
Yahoo has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought against it on behalf of several Chinese dissidents, according to papers filed in a California court.

No details have been given of the settlement, but Yahoo will cover legal costs and will also set up a fund to support other political dissidents.

The case alleged Yahoo had provided information to the Chinese government then used to prosecute the dissidents.

Yahoo said it had to comply with Chinese laws to operate in the country.

'Right move'

But after settling the lawsuit, Yahoo chief executive Jerry Yang said it was "clear to me what we had to do to make this right for them, for Yahoo and for the future".

A statement released by the World Organization for Human Rights USA, which brought the case, said Yahoo had decided to settle the case following criticism at a US Congressional hearing on 6 November.

A Congressional panel criticised Yahoo for not giving full details to its probe into the jailing of a reporter by Chinese authorities.

Yahoo had been "at best inexcusably negligent" and at worst "deceptive" in evidence given to the House Foreign Affairs Committee last year, the panel said.

One journalist cited in the case, Shi Tao, was tracked down and jailed for 10 years for subversion after Yahoo passed on his e-mail and IP address to officials.

He was convicted in 2004 of divulging state secrets after posting online a Chinese government order forbidding media organisations from marking the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Yahoo's original response to the lawsuit acknowledged releasing information to the Chinese government.

But it argued that there was little connection between the information the firm gave and the ensuing arrests and imprisonment of its users.

Michael Callahan, Yahoo's executive vice-president and general counsel, then told a congressional panel in February 2006 that he did not know why the Chinese authorities wanted to trace Shi Tao.

Last week, Mr Callahan wrote to the committee admitting that other Yahoo employees had a document saying it was to do with the "suspected illegal provision of state secrets".

Mr Callahan said the information only came to his attention months after he testified.

SEE ALSO
US rebukes Yahoo over China case
06 Nov 07 |  Technology
Yahoo plea over China rights case
28 Aug 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Yahoo's China policy rejected
12 Jun 07 |  Business
Net giants 'still failing China'
18 Dec 06 |  Technology
Internet firms 'bowed to Beijing'
02 Feb 06 |  Americas
Why Google in China makes sense
27 Jan 06 |  Technology

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific