Shi Tao’s leaked document

Be sure to see Angry Chinese Blogger’s translation of the document Shi Tao leaked, landing him in prison for a hefty ten years. Absolutely unbelievable. N o, make that all too believable. It illustrates just how terrified the apoplectic CCP gets when they even think about democracy and what it can do to them.

There’s a lot of talk about how Yahoo supplied the Chinese secret police with an incriminating email that helped them prosecute Shi Tao. I’m declining to comment on this until I understand it better. Meanwhile, ESWN breaks ranks with those condemning Yahoo and calling for a boycott. His argument is thought-provoking but I’m not fully convinced of his hypothetical analogy: shouldn’t Yahoo be forced to surrender an email if it could save the life of a kidnapped child? I’m not sure it’s a fair comparison. As with so much dealing with Internet privacy, this is a messy topic and there’s no simple solution. Obviously, in a life or death situation the rules have to be flexible. But does that mean the Internet companies have to acquiesce to every request by the secret police? I don’t know, but it’s worth considering. So for now, I won’t condemn Yahoo, though I’m thinking about it.

The Discussion: 21 Comments

Hey, could we get a copy of that translation ? Some of us poor people can’t reach blog-city ๐Ÿ™‚

September 8, 2005 @ 10:51 am | Comment

Emile, the copy is full of Chinese characters which I’m afraid will show up as gibberish. But here goes:


20 April, Chinese Propaganda Ministry urgently dispatches document 11 to assorted news agencies, contents โ€œConcerning present work to continue stabilityโ€, abstract as follows:


1. About the present situation, an analysis:


(一) This year is the 15th anniversary of “6/4”, cross border/external democracy groups are increasingly active in preparing to commemoration “6/4”, and are preparing to cross the border;
(二) Currently the focus of liberalization is, whether or not the Communist party is in a position to lead, whether or not to continue the system of socialism and the so-called โ€œpopular studyโ€, additionally hostile elements have been observing judicial cases and politicizing them;
(三) Acts of terrorism committed by FLG members;
(四) Harmful information has been disseminated on the Internet;
(五) There have been prominent demonstrations by the masses, principally over forced relocations, and seeking petitions for help;
(六) Hostile foreign powers are taking advantage of religious channels (print media, Internet) to win over young people, and using school activities, tutoring etc, to help (students/youths) in carry out illegal activities.
(七) The Hong Kong Problem;


Key Point are about โ€œ6/4โ€, about FLG, about mass events (mass protests)


2. Every level, every department, must take these preventative measures.


(一) Determined system to stop pro-democracy group from crossing the border;
(二) Tight protection to guard (against) any type of (demonstration) activity;
(三) Tight protection to guard (against) any type of activity on the Internet;
(四) Tight protection to guard (against) mass protests;
(五) Tight protection to guard (against) acts of destruction by the nefarious FLG cult;
(六) Tight protection to guard the security of members of key departments;
(七) Tight protection to guard (against) element impacting on stability and unity;


3. Immediate fierce promotion of 5 key works


(一) Uphold proper thinking and responsible ideas;
(二) Practically reinforce information-gathering work; gain a better understanding of all activities and situation;
(三) Continue to manipulate public opinion to the correct form, have an effective defense against destructive external forces, resolutely never express any opinions that are not consistent with the central (Governmentโ€™s) opinion;
(四) Give prominence to key points, direct protective measure towards them;
(五) Reduces mass petitions by the people;


At the same time (you) must focus (your) attention on relationships between external democracy groups and individual editors and journalists inside (China), one discovered, inform on them immediately

September 8, 2005 @ 10:56 am | Comment

for shi tao’s verdict and a english translation, you can go the the global voices online site (in PDF format).

September 8, 2005 @ 11:11 am | Comment

it should be noted, in the verdict, yahoo holding (HK) provided user information corresponding to shi tao’s email address, also the IP address shi tao was using at the time.

yahoo holding (HK) is registered in Hong Kong, and should not be subject to the mainland’s law. in other words, yahoo didn’t have to provide the info and to comply with the law of the country it operates in, as it states.

September 8, 2005 @ 11:46 am | Comment

Kevin, I truly appreciate your insight. As i said, I want to understand this better before I condemn Yahoo, but I’m pretty close to doing so now.

I gave your link a “tiny url” as it was knocking out my comment margins.

September 8, 2005 @ 11:47 am | Comment

yahoo holding (HK) is registered in Hong Kong, and should not be subject to the mainland’s law

Possible, but I doubt this. Is there an international corporate lawyer in the house?

September 8, 2005 @ 11:58 am | Comment

Where is Conrad when we need him?

September 8, 2005 @ 12:03 pm | Comment

That’s exactly who I was thinking of, Richard. Haven’t seen him around in a while though. Any idea what he’s up to?

September 8, 2005 @ 12:07 pm | Comment

He’s slippery, like an eel. His visits have been sporadic lately but I’m sure he’ll be back.

September 8, 2005 @ 12:11 pm | Comment

Just to note why I doubt the regulations are so separate between the mainland and HK: there are plently of companies listed in HK who’s main business is on the mainland. Even Sinopec and China Mobile have HK branches (not just H-shares).

There are lots of regulations and loopholes about being registered in HK, while conducting business on the mainland. Thus, I assume any Yahoo was (liable to be) subject to a court order from the mainland.

September 8, 2005 @ 12:13 pm | Comment


I know that you mean well by posting the article here for those who can’t see it, but it means that AREN’T VISITING MY SITE to see it now even if they can.

Could you maybe put up a summary or something.

Everybody, feel free to make your comments on my homepage too.

September 8, 2005 @ 12:16 pm | Comment

There are some interesting comments about this on the Global Voices post linked above. Nothing is more headache-inducing than Internet privacy. Did you read about the family last month that was demanding Yahoo hand over the personal emails of their killed-in-Iraq soldier-son? I know I wouldn’t want my own emails handed over to my parents, ever. But does my family have a legal claim to them, since they were my possessions? A can of worms…

September 8, 2005 @ 12:20 pm | Comment

Booya. Check on itself at the bottom of the page: there’s a link Ministry of Commerce registration number. ( It shows that Yahoo’s got an office registered in Chaoyang, Beijing. At the bottom of the registration page, there’s a notice to report any illegial activity.

So yea, they’re subject to mainland laws.

(Oh, it’s all in Chinese BTW)

September 8, 2005 @ 12:21 pm | Comment

ACB, I only put up the cut and paste after a commenter in China requested it. I am going to lunch, please write a summary if you wish and I will take down the quoted text.

September 8, 2005 @ 12:22 pm | Comment

Dangit, that was me with the “booya”.

September 8, 2005 @ 12:24 pm | Comment

yes, there’s a notice to report any illegial activity. but that is not to say yahoo has to report it. it says if you find out someone are using yahoo’s services to conduct illegal activies, for example, hotsing a phishing site, lauching adware, calling down with CCP, you should let the authority know.

but good point on yahoo be registered in China. but the verdict states the one who handed over the IP address is yahoo holding (HK), not Yahoo China.

also there is some difference on being pressured by the security police and being actively helping them by providing actual content of the emails.

i suppose this is not a clear black and white issue. although i condemn yahoo’s cowardly invovlement in this case, but i can say i unstander with their position and the pressure they were facing.

yahoo should let their China division to handle this, instead of involving regional branch in hong kong. (operating in China vs. a ‘free’ place.) there is no excuse for what they did, but at least they can say, “managers in China did it, without our knowledge of the issues.”

September 8, 2005 @ 12:50 pm | Comment

Yea, I agree with the fact that having HK in the name makes them look bad.

Just writing in to share a little gem: By clicking on the “Harmful Content Reposrting Center” Link (, you can see all the harmful things that the authorities have cracked down on. At the top of the page are the listings of all the “淫秽色情” (Obscene porn?) sites.

I shed a tear for each one.

September 8, 2005 @ 1:04 pm | Comment

apparently, yahoo does have to comply with Chinese law.

Yahoo was a 2002 signatory to China’s Public Pledge on Self-Discipline for the China Internet Industry, agreement to which generally has been seen as promising to censor content deemed unsafe by Beijing.

a old BBC news in 2002 reported on this (in Chinese)

still, no excuse for yahoo.

September 8, 2005 @ 4:38 pm | Comment

Do You, Uh, Yahoo? You’re Busted! – Update 2

Not, one would hope, if you’re a Chinese dissident or journalist on the wrong side of the authorities….

September 9, 2005 @ 3:12 am | Comment

I wonder if they’d rat on one of their own employees……..

September 9, 2005 @ 5:31 pm | Comment

Yahoo Must Follow Whose Laws?

As Yahoo! spins furiously to protect their image after providing key information that led to the jailing of Shi Tao on the mainland for revealing state secrets, thankfully China Digital Times updates with the obvious point, I’ve been thinking for the last

September 10, 2005 @ 8:17 pm | Comment

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