Saint Aardvark writes "A hand-written letter has surfaced that sheds new light on the case of Chinese reporter Shi Tao. The letter (PDF), believed to be from Chinese police, 'is essentially a standardized search warrant making clear that Chinese law enforcement agencies have the legal authority to collect evidence in criminal cases. This contradicts Yahoo's testimony (PDF) to Congress in 2006 that they 'had no information about the nature of the investigation.' 'One does not have to be an expert in Chinese law to know that 'state secrets' charges have often been used to punish political dissent in China,' says Joshua Rosenzweig, manager of research and publications for The Dui Hua Foundation. Shi Tao was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his reporting on the Tianamen Square massacre."