UPDATE: ZDNet has retracted its story.
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.
To learn more about our human rights efforts, please visit our website, at http://humanrights.yahoo.com.
by Michael Samway, VP & Deputy General Counsel