Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer Feared Treason for Failing to Comply with NSA Requests
September 13, 2013 10:54 AM
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She said Yahoo protects its users by working "within the system"
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
, 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.
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9/13/2013 12:05:39 PM
A combination of factors all coming together at the same time is allowing the NSA to violate the constitution. This problem is greater than this single incident. The federal government is structured and growing its power over every little detail of life and they are hoping that we will look at this as just another little thing we will have to put up with. This situation is caused by both the far left and the far right sides of the political spectrum; because when they have the power, it will be their weapon to use as they see fit. There is a reason that the constitution is scared ground that you do not tread upon; because every step they take in violation is allowing them to take more. Old saying “Give them an inch and they will take a mile”. Here is another old saying “If you let a camel can stick its nose in the tent, it won’t be long before the entire camel is in the tent”. The security that they say they are protecting isn’t an easy job; they are just lazy and taking short cuts across the constitution. <End Rant>
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