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"Lawful Spying" Price Lists Leaked 245

Posted by Soulskill
from the reading-your-terrible-manga-poetry-on-the-cheap dept.
ogaraf writes "Wired has a story about how the site Cryptome.org leaked the price lists for 'lawful spying' activities of Yahoo and other companies, and subsequently received a DMCA takedown notice from Yahoo. The documents, however, are still posted online, and in them you can learn, for instance, that IP logs last for one year, but the original IPs used to create accounts have been kept since 1999. The contents of your Yahoo account are bought for $30 to $40 by law enforcement agencies."
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"Lawful Spying" Price Lists Leaked

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 06, 2009 @02:40PM (#30344704)

    Just like "releasing the photos will inflame the enemy and put our people in danger". The truth is a dangerous weapon and should only be handled by professionals.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 06, 2009 @02:45PM (#30344738)

    How can a document be both confidential and copyrighted?

    "Lawyer claims intellectual property rights on method to suck and blow at same time."

  • by HangingChad (677530) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @03:45PM (#30345230) Homepage

    Did you actually read the document (especially the part about narrowly-crafted subpoenas and court orders)?

    I'm not clear who you're accusing of not reading. Because there's nothing about warrants in the article and this was in the comments.

    Sprint/Nextel is being picked on here ofr its automated web portal that allows agencies to extract all manner of data without FISA court warrants or any other oversight Part of the issue here is they're selling this data to law enforcement in the absence of any warrant or court orders narrow or otherwise. Collecting data on people without a warrant is spying and these companies are making money off of it.

  • by ctmurray (1475885) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @03:50PM (#30345274) Journal
    This link has been deleted.....
  • by Skapare (16644) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @04:53PM (#30345752) Homepage

    If a copyright notice is optional, then some means to know whether the document is genuinely copyrighted PRIOR to its dissemination would be needed for others to know that it is in fact copyrighted. It could be that copyrighting the document was overlooked, and has only been corrected after the fact. If they did copyright it prior to dissemination, then there has to be at least something to show this.

    Michael Gershberg appears to be claiming, if Cryptome's copy of the letter is accurate, that the document is in fact copyrighted. So how is it that he knows this to be the case? Does he see some instrumental proof that the document is copyrighted? Was he just personally told that the document is copyrighted? He should support his claim by providing a notarized copy of the instrumental proof, or swear out a claim citing who told him that it was copyrighted, in order to be convincing. Otherwise, he is not very convincing at all.

    The lack of a copyright notice always gives the APPEARANCE of not being copyrighted. How can anyone know otherwise unless there is some alternative proof. WHERE'S THE PROOF?

  • by Gracenotes (1001843) <wikigracenotes@gma i l . com> on Sunday December 06, 2009 @04:57PM (#30345776)
    It's the law, apparently, at least if you're not a common carrier. From Yahoo's compliance guide,

    Federal law (See 18 U.S.C. 2706) requires law enforcement to reimburse providers like Yahoo! for costs incurred responding to subpoena requests, court orders, or search warrants. Yahoo! generally requests reimbursement when responding to legal process, except that Yahoo! maintains an exception to this policy for cases involving the abduction or exploitation of children.

    The law is available here [cornell.edu]. It's a requirement for law enforcement requesting information, not the organizations providing it (except that the amount is "mutually agreed by the governmental entity and the person or entity providing the information").

    A governmental entity obtaining the contents of communications, records, or other information under section 2702, 2703, or 2704 of this title shall pay to the person or entity assembling or providing such information a fee for reimbursement for such costs as are reasonably necessary and which have been directly incurred in searching for, assembling, reproducing, or otherwise providing such information. Such reimbursable costs shall include any costs due to necessary disruption of normal operations of any electronic communication service or remote computing service in which such information may be stored.

    So, the guide is a means for law enforcement to interact with Yahoo (and the law) in a standard, easier way. Does it make it more likely that investigators would ask Yahoo for documents if Yahoo makes it easy, as opposed to cooperating as little as possible? Probably. But Yahoo has no reason not to cooperate.

  • by lawpoop (604919) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @05:04PM (#30345830) Homepage Journal
    How would you know that a supposed National Security letter you got was real?
  • Don't be evil (Score:2, Interesting)

    by shadowofwind (1209890) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @05:57PM (#30346234)

    While watching a presentation by a Google engineering exec a few months ago, I got the impression that selling information about Google users was at the core of Google's strategic vision. Maybe I was extrapolating too far from limited data. I'm cautiously favorable about Google as a company, and "don't be evil" is just the mindset that's needed for a company that has that much power. But nearly every institution, cultlike, has the denial of its worst evil built into its expressed ideology. Microsoft is all about innovation, authoritarian governments all call themselves "democratic republics", etc. Google seems to have the potential to go either way.

    Yes I realize that the main discussion is about Yahoo, but I think Google is more important, since they're a better company.

  • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @06:05PM (#30346328) Homepage
    Nice find. Thanks. For those of you who haven't followed the link, think of this:

    Just what is privacy?
  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @06:22PM (#30346480) Homepage

    The really interesting part about National Security Letters is that they're fairly obviously unconsitutional, but were designed in such a way that the judiciary would never rule on their constitutionality. By making it a crime to reveal that you've received an NSL, you make it impossible for anyone to demonstrate that it existed in the first place, and thus prevent anyone who was targeted by them to establish standing to sue. So if someone tries to challenge it, the executive branch can argue correctly "You can't prove an NSL existed, therefor you can't prove you were harmed by NSLs, therefor you have no reason to sue".

    I just wish more of the Senate had understood what was really at stake and followed Sen Russ Feingold's (D-WI) lead. Because what was actually going on was that the executive succeeded in shutting out the judiciary from the judicial process.

  • Nice one (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Steeltoe (98226) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @08:07PM (#30347362) Homepage

    It appears to be an intractable, maybe fatal flaw in our system.

    That's because you see it as a system, rather than choice, what we choose to do, what we collectively decide society should be. All power is lost at that moment we accept that as truth, and people become passive victims of the sharks that know how to exploit any system.

    It's not sustainable for the longer term though. Either your country goes bankrupt, or faces similar fates in the hand of the criminal lyers that have held you in chains for so long, and you again realize you can choose. Or you decide to start believing in change and support those who have integrity and wish the best for the nation (ie. a true president with the best intentions, rather than just corporate and religious-fundamental interests).

    Well put post btw. But things are not that hopeless as you put it!

  • by dmartin (235398) on Monday December 07, 2009 @05:19AM (#30350670)

    The really interesting part about National Security Letters is that they're fairly obviously unconsitutional, but were designed in such a way that the judiciary would never rule on their constitutionality. By making it a crime to reveal that you've received an NSL, you make it impossible for anyone to demonstrate that it existed in the first place, and thus prevent anyone who was targeted by them to establish standing to sue. So if someone tries to challenge it, the executive branch can argue correctly "You can't prove an NSL existed, therefor you can't prove you were harmed by NSLs, therefor you have no reason to sue".

    It seems really easy to sidestep this. Take the NSL to a judge, or use it as evidence to sue. If they come after you for revealing the existence of an NSL there is your proof that it has impacted you and you have standing. If the courts rule that states secrets are justified, and that your action was indeed illegal then you are basically in trouble -- you have admitted blatantly violating the law and will probably be imprisoned. But if you should win and you can have it ruled the law was unconstitutional then the law you violated has no power anyway (the constitution in the US granting the government limited powers). So challenging it is risky, and would take someone with very strong principles (and a strong stomach) to see it through, but it is not the Catch-22 you make it out to be.

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