Wed, Jan 07, 2009 - Page 3 News List

TSU slams Yahoo over e-mail tag

ATTACHED AD E-mail users in Taiwan with yahoo.com accounts see their outbound e-mail automatically show the Web address for Chinese Yahoo, cn.mail.yahoo.com

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) yesterday called on the public to stop using their Yahoo e-mail accounts if the US search-engine giant continues to attach the Web site address of Chinese Yahoo for users in Taiwan.

E-mail users in Taiwan with yahoo.com accounts see their outbound e-mail automatically show the Web site address for Chinese Yahoo (http://cn.mail.yahoo.com) at the bottom of their message if they access their account from Taiwan’s Yahoo, Yahoo Kimo.

TSU Spokeswoman Chow Mei-li (周美里) yesterday lambasted the US company, saying it had a notorious record of currying favor with Beijing.

“Last year, it received harsh criticism for leaking the information of a Chinese dissident to the Chinese government, leading to his arrest,” she said. “Now they are doing this. If they pay that much attention to China, they should focus on the Chinese market.”

Chow was referring to Yahoo’s cooperation with Chinese police in tracking down cyber dissidents.

In November last year, the US Congress sharply rebuked Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang (楊致遠) and the company, which he co-founded, over Yahoo’s role in landing Chinese journalist Shi Tao (師濤) behind bars.

Shi was convicted in 2005 of divulging state secrets after he e-mailed to an overseas Web site a Chinese government order forbidding media organizations from marking the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre.

Police identified Shi as the sender of the e-mail using information provided by Yahoo. He was sentenced to 10 years in jail.

In response to pressure from Congress and rights organizations, Yahoo held talks with industry partners, academics, civic groups and investors on an industry code of conduct governing the behavior of global technology and communication companies operating in “challenging markets.”

Yang has been campaigning for prisoners of conscience and has established a human rights fund to offer humanitarian and legal support to political dissidents imprisoned for expressing their views online.

Chow yesterday said if Yahoo did not stop attaching its Chinese Yahoo Web site address to its US Yahoo e-mail users in Taiwan, they would continue to ask Taiwanese users of Yahoo to drop their accounts with the company.

Yahoo Kimo said yesterday that the attachment of the address for Chinese Yahoo resulted from the language the user chose and the country operating the system.

Users get the tag line of China Yahoo because China is the country managing the Web site of US Yahoo in Chinese, said Kelly Hsu (?m), public relations manager of Yahoo Kimo, adding that the message was an advertisement posted by the system operator.

If the users do not want the ad, they can alter the content preferences for their account, she said.

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