Congress To Investigate Yahoo's Role In China Arrest

The Associated Press reported House Foreign Affairs Chairman Tom Lantos ordered an investigation after documents were released that raised questions about what Yahoo knew when it shared information with authorities about a Chinese journalist.

Shi Tao, the journalist was sentenced to 10 years in prison for sending an email about Chinese media restrictions, the AP reported.

Lantos said that "covering up such a despicable practice when Congress seeks an explanation is a serious offense," the AP reported.

Jim Cullinan, a Yahoo spokesman, expressed disappointment to the AP that Lantos "is rushing to judgment on this issue, because the facts will support Yahoo's testimony to Congress."

"To do business with China's more than 100 million Internet users, U.S. tech companies must satisfy a government that fiercely polices Internet content. Filters block objectionable foreign Web sites; regulations ban what the Chinese consider subversive and pornographic content and require service providers to enforce censorship," the AP noted.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.