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She said Yahoo protects its users by working "within the system"

Yahoo's chief executive officer said she was apprehensive about not giving in to the government's requests for data because of possible imprisonment for treason. 

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer told an audience at a TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco that she feared treason charges and imprisonment if she refused to give the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) what it wanted. 

"If you don't comply, it is treason," said Mayer. "We can't talk about it because it is classified. Releasing classified information is treason, and you are incarcerated. In terms of protecting our users, it makes more sense to work within the system."

Mayer explained that Yahoo typically battles US government data requests from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, but if Yahoo loses that fight, the company doesn't have much of a choice. 

Many tech companies like Yahoo, Facebook and Microsoft are trying to receive permission to disclose what kinds of information the government requested in the past in order to increase transparency for users. 


Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer [Image Source: NPR]

This all stemmed from former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden's revelations about the NSA's spy programs, and how it tapped into the phone calls and emails of Americans. The government said this data was used to fight terrorist attacks, but the public feared for their privacy after the discovery. 

Last month, reports said that the NSA admitted to touching 1.6 percent of total globe Web traffic. Its technique was to filter data after harvesting it, which led to over-collection on a major scale. 

Days later, an internal audit showed that the NSA broke the law nearly 3,000 times from 2011 to 2012. More specifically, the May 2012 audit revealed that the NSA had abused its power to either accidentally or intentionally spy on Americans and green card holders 2,997 times in that time period. 

More recent reports show that the NSA bypasses several types of Internet encryption, and even used back-door access to tech giants like Google, Yahoo, Facebook, and Microsoft for three years to gain the information it wanted. Furthermore, Snowden said that the NSA spends about $250 million USD to diminish international encryption standards (as well as products) so that it can decode what it wants.

Source: Yahoo News



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Doesn't Yahoo have Lawyers?
By DaveLessnau on 9/13/2013 11:58:34 AM , Rating: 4
From wikipedia:

quote:
To avoid the abuses of the English law (including executions by Henry VIII of those who criticized his repeated marriages), treason was specifically defined in the United States Constitution, the only crime so defined. Article III Section 3 delineates treason as follows

Iva Toguri, known as Tokyo Rose, and Tomoya Kawakita were two Japanese Americans who were tried for treason after World War II. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.




RE: Doesn't Yahoo have Lawyers?
By retrospooty on 9/13/2013 12:03:41 PM , Rating: 5
The problem with that is the US govt. doesn't care what the constitution says about this...


RE: Doesn't Yahoo have Lawyers?
By Schrag4 on 9/13/2013 12:23:44 PM , Rating: 3
Meh. Unless she's trying to change how things work over at the NSA, this is a PR move, plain and simple.


RE: Doesn't Yahoo have Lawyers?
By danjw1 on 9/13/2013 12:39:46 PM , Rating: 5
The government believes that disclosing sources and or methods is "giving them Aid and Comfort" to the enemy. That is the justification.

I believe that we have essentially surrendered to terrorists. The government is committing unconstitutional acts to "protect us". When we allow ourselves to be ruled by fear, then the terrorists win. And that is what is happening. The Unpatriotic Act, that was passed after the September 11th attacks, was a reaction to that fear. And that law is what the government uses to justify its behavior.

The the judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) are appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme court. It has been stacked with conservative judges that have served in presidential administrations by Chief Justice Roberts. It is like asking the fox to guard the hen house.


RE: Doesn't Yahoo have Lawyers?
By jido on 9/15/2013 9:54:54 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I believe that we have essentially surrendered to terrorists. The government is committing unconstitutional acts to "protect us". When we allow ourselves to be ruled by fear, then the terrorists win. And that is what is happening. The Unpatriotic Act, that was passed after the September 11th attacks, was a reaction to that fear. And that law is what the government uses to justify its behavior.

That.


RE: Doesn't Yahoo have Lawyers?
By fic2 on 9/13/2013 12:51:12 PM , Rating: 3
Somehow I just see the gov't throwing a pretty well known CEO into jail for non-compliance of an unconstitutional request. That certainly would have blown the cover of Prism way before anyone outside of gov't knew anything about it.

Unless, of course, they made up other charges to throw her in jail. This course of action by the gov't wouldn't surprise me at all.


RE: Doesn't Yahoo have Lawyers?
By fic2 on 9/13/2013 1:05:09 PM , Rating: 2
Should read "just don't see".


RE: Doesn't Yahoo have Lawyers?
By Reclaimer77 on 9/13/2013 1:48:37 PM , Rating: 2
Easy to say when you're not the one being bullied, threatened, and intimidated. The absolute power being wielded is too much for any company to stand up to.


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