Yahoo has admitted it has done nothing to help the families of mainland journalist Shi Tao and cyber-dissident Li Zhi, both imprisoned with the help of information the company supplied to the government. In last week's congressional hearing in the United States, Congressman Tom Lantos demanded to know whether Yahoo had offered assistance to the men's families. Yahoo general counsel Michael Callahan attempted to duck the answer with lawyerly repetitions of the company line, angering Mr Lantos. What follows is a brief transcript of their terse exchange. Mr Lantos: 'Have any of the companies reached out to the families and asked whether you can be of any help to them?' Mr Callahan: 'Congressman, we have expressed our strong views on this subject to the Chinese government.' Mr Lantos: 'No, have you reached out to the families, offering assistance?' Mr Callahan: 'We have expressed our condemnation of the persecution of this person. We have expressed our views to the Chinese government. And we believe the best way to engage this is as a government-to-government issue.' Mr Lantos: 'Have you reached out to the families?' Mr Callahan: 'We have approached the Chinese government on this issue, and we look forward to working with the United States government.' Mr Lantos: 'Have you reached out to the families of the people who are currently in prison?' Mr Callahan: 'Congressman, we believe the best way to address this issue is to focus on ...' Mr Lantos: 'I can ask you 10 more times if you refuse to answer it. You are under oath. Have you reached out to the families?' Mr Callahan: 'We have not reached out to the families.' Mr Lantos: 'That is my question.'