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Foreign journalists in China seek answer from Yahoo on email breach

Yahoo won’t directly address what happened to the e-mail accounts of foreign journalists in China and Taiwan that were reportedly breached in recent weeks. And while most of the accounts have been restored, Kathleen McLaughlin, a freelance journalist and board member of the Foreign Correspondents Club of China, said that journalists who contacted Yahoo about the e-mail problems haven’t gotten clear answers about the problem.

The lack of information from the company has been “incredibly frustrating,” she said. It’s still unclear how the accounts were disabled, and no one has asked the Chinese government about the incidents, McLaughlin said. The government hasn’t commented either.

“You asked about response from the Chinese government, but what we really need is a response from Yahoo,” McLaughlin wrote in an e-mail exchange late Wednesday.

When asked about the episode, a spokesperson for Yahoo declined to confirm the attacks. The Silicon Valley giant said in a statement:

“Yahoo does not generally disclose information around reported breaches, but we take security very seriously and we take appropriate action in the event of any kind of breach.”

The Foreign Correspondents Club said that of the 11 confirmed cases of blocked Yahoo e-mail accounts, eight involved Beijing-based reporters and three involved journalists based in Taiwan.

“That’s more than we confirmed in Gmail attacks,” McLaughlin said.

She said some journalists noticed problems a few weeks ago and some, including McLaughlin, noticed their own e-mail accounts were disabled by Yahoo last Thursday. McLaughlin’s account was restored on Tuesday.

By Cecilia Kang  |  April 1, 2010; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  Google , International , Yahoo  
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Comments

The world (Free press and Western Democratic Nations. The Russians aren't blind either) has no doubt the current Chinese government is behind the Yahoo and Google attacks. Again, there isn't a doubt in anyone's mind but there is fear in the heart. Who dares to present the evidence to the world? "Not I.", says the current US administration. "We are weak and too indebted to the Chinese." What has become of our once great and fearless nation? I'll tell you, As French President Sarcozy told us last week in a soft and condescending voice, "My Friends, it pains me to tell you but yours is not the most important currency in the world anymore." When a French man calls you his friend you know your in trouble. But I digress. I know it will be painful but we must confront the Chinese now. As my old college professor once told me, "My son, an ending with fear is better than fear without end."

Posted by: HomeOnMyRange | April 3, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

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