Yahoo has once again been accused by Reporters Sans Frontieres, the Paris-based press freedom watchdog group, of turning over information about a computer user in China.
Reporters Sans Frontieres said the user, Li Zhi, was sentenced to eight years in prison for "inciting subversion" based on electronic records provided by Yahoo. Li, a 35-year-old ex-civil servant from Dazhou, used the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org and user-name lizhi34100 to post comments in online discussion groups about corruption of local officials.
Yahoo declined to comment, according to CNET's report.
On a personal level this raises the privacy issue: How can I know the extent to which a company is protecting my private information?
One solution: Encourage companies to disclose each time they have received a subpoena. This would not be perfect, but it would at least give an idea of the threats to privacy. Any other ideas?