An Iranian blog Iranian Students Solidarity (in Farsi) has posted that Yahoo was severely limited to users in Iran during the latest demonstration, Yahoo reacted to this block and sent a representative to Iran to resolve the issue.
The blog claims that Yahoo representatives were asked to provide Iranian authorities with the names (data) on all Iranian Internet account holders in exchange for removing the block/filter on the Yahoo website. Yet they agreed at final stage to provide email accounts of those individuals who have Yahoo accounts and are publishing blogs, and Yaho closed the deal in coupe of hours.
This claim against Yahoo didn’t spread until an editor, Richard Koman, at ZDNet.com, a leading tech blog, posted an article under Government section that Yahoo collaborated with the Iranian regime during the election protests, providing to the authorities the names and emails of some 200,000 Iranian Yahoo users.
Yahoo has picked-up this publicity coverage and said on their blog that promotes Human Rights the following:
Yahoo! is committed to protecting the free expression and privacy rights of our users, so we are concerned by the misleading and incorrect statements in an article posted on ZDNet.com regarding Yahoo! and Iran.
The allegations in the story are false. Neither Yahoo! nor any Yahoo! representative has met with or communicated with Iranian officials regarding the matters referenced in the article, and Yahoo! has not disclosed user data to the Iranian government. The ZDnet article makes other inaccurate assertions. We don’t have a Yahoo! Iran website, as the article suggests. We don’t have employees in Iran either. And while we have a website targeted at users in Malaysia, we don’t have operations or officials there, also wrongly asserted in the article.
The power of the Internet means that information travels quickly, including claims that are false. We’re disappointed in this case that we weren’t given a chance to comment on the allegations before the story went live. We are, however, pleased that ZDnet’s editor has now said the report on which the article was based is considered unreliable. We intend to continue to demonstrate, through our actions, our deep commitment to protecting our users’ rights to free expression and privacy. Yahoo! was founded on the principle that access to information and to communications tools can improve people’s lives, and Yahoo! is committed to protecting and promoting freedom of expression and privacy around the globe, including in Iran.
ZDNet.com has posted another blog article mentioning that the article was based on un-reliable resource.