YAHOO’S chief executive Jerry Yang has been summoned to Washington to explain why one of his top execs lied to Congress about the Internet giant’s role in a Chinese human rights case.
Yang and Yahoo senior VP Michael Callahan have been asked to appear before a panel of the House of Representatives committee on foreign affairs on November 6.
The two men will be asked to explain the circumstances surrounding the arrest and imprisonment of Chinese journalist Shi Tao for allegedly distributing state secrets over the Internet.
Tao, who held a Yahoo mail account, was arrested in 2004 after Yahoo complied with an official request for information about him. He was subsequently found guilty and jailed for 10 years.
In February 2006, Yahoo officials were hauled before Congress in to explain their company’s involvement. At the time, Callahan argued that Yahoo was not aware of the investigation when it handed over information on Tao.
But Congressional officials now believe that was not true.
“Our committee has established that Yahoo provided false information to Congress in early 2006,” said Tom Lantos, chairman of the committee in a statement.
“It is bad enough that a wealthy American company would willingly supply Chinese police the means to hunt a man down for shedding light on repression in China.
“Covering up such a despicable practice when Congress seeks an explanation is a serious offense. For a firm engaged in the information industry, Yahoo! sure has a lot of secrecy to answer for. We expect to learn the truth, and to hold the company to account.”
Yahoo released a statement saying that Callahan’s testimony was accurate at the time it was given and that the company only learned about the investigation after that.
News source: THEINQUIRER