Yahoo: Email Tizzy Makes One Dizzy

October 27, 2016

I read “Yahoo Wants the US to Explain Its Email Surveillance Order.” The write up suggests that “reports of its email scanning system [are] misleading.” Right, but who talked about the email scanning? The US government or Yahoo? My recollection is that Yahoo offered the information. Now Yahoo wants the US government to explain a task which I assume was either privileged or not for public dissemination. But what do I know? I am in rural Kentucky, observing the Purple Haze machine from afar. Thank goodness.

The write up earned this highlight from my passionate purple marker:

In a letter to James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, Yahoo’s general counsel, Ron Bell, called on the government to clarify the “national security orders they issue to internet companies to obtain user data.”  The company said that although the letter references allegations made against Yahoo, “it is intended to set a stronger precedent of transparency for our users and all citizens who could be affected by government requests for user data.” “We appreciate the need for confidentiality in certain aspects of investigations involving public safety or national security,” the letter reads, “However, transparency is critical to ensure accountability and in this context must include disclosing how and under what set of circumstances the US government uses specific legal authorities, including the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act [FISA], to obtain private information about individuals’ online activities or communications.”

There you go. Yahoo at the Yahooligans’ best.

I noted this statement from the article too:

“As we’ve [Yahoo]  said before, recent press reports have been misleading; the mail scanning described in the article does not exist on our systems,” the company said. “We therefore trust that the US government recognizes the importance of clarifying the record in this case,” the company added.

Okay, Yahoo, what are the odds that the US government will jump through a hoop for you? I don’t see Yahoo as much of a ringmaster these days. Yahoo leaves me dizzy because the Yahooligans may be in a tizzy.

Stephen E Arnold, October 27, 2016


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