Yahoo ‘Strictest’ Censor in China

Wired News reports that Reporters Without Borders has labeled Yahoo the “strictest” censor in China:

Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said their tests showed that Yahoo.cn blocked a higher percentage of politically sensitive results than Google.cn or the beta version of msn.cn.

The tests were performed using 10 politically-sensitive keywords like “press freedom” or “human rights” on the Chinese versions of Yahoo, Google and MSN, as well as a Chinese-based search engine, Baidu.

“We simply found out that Yahoo was even worse than its local competitors,” said Julien Pain, RSF Internet Freedom desk chief. “Google.cn is censored, but it’s far less than what Yahoo does.”

Although Yahoo.cn was sold to and is now operated by the Chinese company Alibaba, Yahoo remains a large shareholder.

The report also said Yahoo.cn blocked access to the search engine for an hour in half the cases after a search was conducted using the sensitive keywords. Baidu does the same thing, but the Chinese versions of Google and MSN do not restrict access.

RSF said that the level of censorship on Yahoo.cn also exceeds that of Baidu in terms of the number of Beijing-authorized sites returned in the search results.

This, on top of Yahoo’s history of turning over e-mail account information to Chinese authorities that resulted in the arrest and imprisonment of Chinese citizens, is utterly unacceptable.

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