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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 @02:35PM (#30344666)

    I like the part where Yahoo complains that the leaking of the document could "shock" its users and damage its reputation. Shoulda thought of that earlier, huh?

    • by Dreadneck (982170) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @02:49PM (#30344764)

      I like the part where Yahoo complains that the leaking of the document could "shock" its users and damage its reputation.

      I AM shocked!

      Only $30 per? Really?? Violating my privacy is bad enough, but the insult to my dignity is despicable!

      Come on, guys! You're billing the government! Add some zeroes for fuck's sake - it's not like you're billing Medicare!

      • by Shakrai (717556) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @02:52PM (#30344804) Journal

        Add some zeroes for fuck's sake - it's not like you're billing Medicare!

        All of the sudden I've got this image in my mind of an elderly Jewish guy, "You don't think they actually spend $20,000 on a hammer, $30,000 on a toilet seat, do you?"

      • And what does Cryptome charge to take down a document?

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        Come on, guys! You're billing the government!

        It didn't say this information was being sold to the government for $30, it said it was being sold to law enforcement.

        "Law enforcement" and "the government" are increasingly not the same thing.

        • From Wikipedia:

          "Economist Robert B. Reich, in his 1991 book The Work of Nations, stated that in the United States, the number of private security guards and officers was comparable to the number of publicly paid police officers. He used this phenomenon as an example of the general withdrawal of the affluent from existing communities where governments provide public services.

          Instead, the wealthy pay to provide their own premium services, through voluntary, exclusive associations. As taxpayer resistance has l

    • by jpmorgan (517966) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @02:56PM (#30344838) Homepage

      They have a document describing search warrant compliance, and here you have /. misrepresenting it as 'we sell your private information to the lowest bidder!'

      Seems like a rational fear to me.

      • by shentino (1139071)

        If there are search warrants/subpoenas involved then why does Yahoo get to bill the government anyway?

        Isn't it contempt of court to refuse to hand it over in the first place?

  • by oldhack (1037484)
    Time for paid services with explicit privacy protection. There is a good business case for this, I think, but will require thoughtful way to market to the masses. Any ideas?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Yeah. Forget about it. It's impossible to verify. That doesn't make impossible to sell to the nearest sucker though.

      • by jimicus (737525)

        Yeah. Forget about it. It's impossible to verify. That doesn't make impossible to sell to the nearest sucker though.

        Not true. If it wasn't owned by Yahoo, they'd have no standing to send a DMCA takedown letter.

        Which is not to say it's the most recent version of the document, or that it's actually the one they use (rather than an early draft before some zeroes were added), but you can be fairly confident it is a Yahoo document.

    • People will use whatever's free, and probably say they have "nothing to hide!" The truly paranoid (which I say without intending any negative connotation) will run their own services. Unfortunately 90% of the email addresses you communicate with probably end in gmail.com, hotmail.com or yahoo.com anyway. That data is available on the other end, if in much more fragmented format.

      I agree with your idea, but I honestly don't think the masses will go for it. If enough concerned people do, it could be worthwhi
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Nutria (679911)

      Yes: you're an idiot to think that even the most expensive "explicit privacy protection" paid services won't comply with warrants.

  • by jpmorgan (517966) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @02:43PM (#30344724) Homepage

    If you actually read the documents (I know, that's too hard), you'll see that this is a list of information Yahoo! can provide in compliance of subpoenas, search warrants and court orders.

    Oooh, if the cops get a search warrant, they can look at your Yahoo! friends list. It's the end of liberty as we know it!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by el_jake (22335)
      But this "search warrant" give you a lot more than just Mr. John Doe at some street.. It gives you all the Doe's at a specific month who visited some URL. That is freaking privacy intrusion. Goodbye Yahoo.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jpmorgan (517966)

        If you don't like judicial powers, take it up with your representative and senators.

      • You act like this is new. That's what search warrants do, they give the government a warrant to search through your stuff. Weird how that works, eh?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jimicus (737525)

        But this "search warrant" give you a lot more than just Mr. John Doe at some street.. It gives you all the Doe's at a specific month who visited some URL. That is freaking privacy intrusion. Goodbye Yahoo.

        Who exactly were you planning on using for email or IM that will ignore a subpoena from law enforcement? What good will it do you unless everyone you communicate with also uses such a provider? What about your connection to that provider?

        If you become interesting to law enforcement, you're living in another world if you think they won't consider it worthy of further investigation that so many connections from your ISP are to an email provider (or, if paranoid a VPN endpoint) in another country known to be

        • You can always use a "me-ternet" It's not exactly rocket surgery to set up your own mail server. Although I do wonder why there aren't more cheap router-type appliances for home use. How different is routing mail from routing packets, really?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jschottm (317343)

        It gives you all the Doe's at a specific month who visited some URL.

        If the government suspects that a URL is being used to do illicit communications, how else do you expect them to figure out who was trying to get the message? Particularly if they're clever enough that rather than having an URL of someserver.com/alqaida/people_we_will_kill.html, they've used steganography to embed the information in an otherwise harmless looking file?

        The question is not whether such search warrants have been granted, it's

    • by Antique Geekmeister (740220) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @03:45PM (#30345232)

      Now go re-read them, especially this clause:

      > Requests for Airfone call record information via Subpoenas, Search Warrants,
      Court Orders, Summons, and National Security Letters

      Do you see that "National Security Letters" part? That's for the Patriot Act, which requires no court order whatsoeve and for which revealing to anyone that you've received such a notice is illegal. There is, so far, no required judicial oversight for such orders: it's an amazing loophole for unscrupulous federal agencies, including those which have no business in domestic investigations such as the NSA, to use. And since companies such as AT&T have repeatedly demonstrated their willingness to cooperate with law enforcement in secret, warrant-free wiretaps with their whistleblower exposed secret fiber-optic taps on core network trunks, rest assured that you have _no_ way of assuring that these monitoring tools haven't been misued.

      It's nice to see the pricelist, though, so we have an idea of just how cheap and easy and wholesale such orders are.

      • 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?
      • 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.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by dmartin (235398)

          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 th

    • by LandruBek (792512) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @04:19PM (#30345522)

      Right, and ooh, a subpoena is SO hard to issue! No judge need be involved; prosecutors get to write them themselves -- motivated, perhaps, by nothing more than a hunch.

      There's a huge difference between a warrant and a subpoena.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    How can a document be both confidential and copyrighted?

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

    • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @02:51PM (#30344784)

      How can a document be both confidential and copyrighted?

      According to the U.S. Constitution (I got this from wikipedia [wikipedia.org]), the purpose of copyright is "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

      The problem seems to be that the actual legislation covers creative works that were never intended to be shared with the public. Such documents, like the ones in question, are within the scope of copyright law but not the spirit.

      But as far as I know, courts have been unwilling to strike down current copyright laws just because they're less than perfectly efficient in achieving the Constitution's justification for them.

      • by corbettw (214229) <corbettw@@@yahoo...com> on Sunday December 06, 2009 @03:57PM (#30345340) Journal

        A confidential internal memo detailing plans for building a new type of engine could "promote the Progress of Science"; ergo, it deserves copyright protection. It also details trade secrets that could damage the company it belongs to; ergo, it deserves to be treated as confidential. Using this example, I'm having a hard time understanding your complaint.

        • Confidential trade secrets are meant to handled with care to ensure that copies are tightly controlled and don't leak to unwanted parties.
          If one such party does obtain sensitive documents or information, apart from being difficult to trace, he needn't even make a physical copy of it to use it unlawfully.
          And if the copyright on the document make spying or leaking them more severe, it would mean that using them without copying would be a much lighter crime.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by eclectro (227083)

        like the ones in question, are within the scope of copyright law but not the spirit.

        No. This is a list if facts, and as such not copyrightable [wikipedia.org]. Things like phone book numbers, lists of addresses, dates, and price lists (as this is) are not copyrightable. But it also should be remembered that we have the most pro-corporation government in history, and this could change if there was enough congressional interest - as both the Copyright Term Extension Act and the DMCA shows even though there is little or no public benefit in doing so.

        • The prices and information itself are not copyrightable, but the actual documents and texts are. The same as no-one can sell a photo-copied phone book, copying the documents which were written by Yahoo does violate their copyright.

          The only question is does US copyright law protect such use.

      • by Skapare (16644)

        Make the procedural demand for the plaintiff to show how a copyright on this document would "... promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts", and seek for the court to find that the document's copyright is not valid. If the court declines to do so, appeal the specific decision itself. This is all typical delay tactics all lawyers are trained to do. IANAL.

    • by dangitman (862676)

      How can a document be both confidential and copyrighted?

      That's pretty easy. Works are automatically copyrighted at the time of creation. If you don't disclose the work, then it's both copyrighted and confidential. Did you try putting even two seconds of thought into it before you asked that question? It's not very difficult.

  • by rdunnell (313839) * on Sunday December 06, 2009 @02:51PM (#30344788)

    If you read it, you'll see that it's basically an explanation of what information they do and do not have, how their various properties work and what information they store, and how much it will cost an agency to have certain information requests addressed. It doesn't represent some sort of sinister pipeline of information directly from their users' keyboards to the "evil government." If anything it's useful to everyone because it shows exactly what they do and don't save, and it might act as a deterrent for the casual or clueless investigator who watches too much CSI and thinks sending a request off will instantly pinpoint the bad guy by backtracking his DNS through the GPS IP address of his netbook's MAC module or whatever.

    • by timeOday (582209) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @04:13PM (#30345490)
      What makes it sinister isn't so much what it says, but that it's supposed to be secret in the first place, and the takedown notice now that it has been divulged. I prefer to know what my rights are in the first place, thankyouverymuch. There's this idea that we can't let people know the rules of the game, since bad guys would then exploit them. Admittedly there is some truth to this; look at how corporations freeload by playing games with the tax codes. But what is the alternative? A lawless state where everybody lives with the vague threat of "stay in line or something bad might happen."
  • Wikileaks (Score:5, Informative)

    by yamamushi (903955) <yamamushi@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Sunday December 06, 2009 @02:52PM (#30344792) Homepage
    It's a good thing it's already been archived on WikiLeaks http://wikileaks.org/wiki/Yahoo_compliance_guide_for_law_enforcement%2C_23_Dec_2008 [wikileaks.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 06, 2009 @02:55PM (#30344828)

    ... or other confidential markings in this document, I don't feel there is any reason not to public disclose this document all or in part. In fact, I will do that just now...

    For email:
    "Yahoo! retains a user’s incoming mail as long as the user chooses to store such messages in their mail folders and
    the user’s email account remains active. Yahoo! retains a user’s sent mail only if the user sets their email account
    options to save sent mail and has not subsequently deleted specific messages."

    For messenger:
    "For Yahoo! Chat and all forms of Messenger, Yahoo! has log information regarding the use of the services. Yahoo!
    maintains a “Friends List” for users of Yahoo! Messenger and can determine from its logs the time and date that a
    user logged into Messenger or Chat (in the prior 45-60 days) and the IP address used. Yahoo! also can retrieve
    from its Chat and Messenger logs the names of the chat rooms that the user accessed and the Yahoo! IDs of the
    other people with whom a user communicated through Messenger during the prior 45-60 days. In order to search
    these logs, a Yahoo! ID and a specific time frame, preferably no more than three days, must be provided."

    For flickr:
    "If provided with a Yahoo! ID, Flickr URL, or Flickr NSID, Yahoo! has the ability to produce subscriber information for
    the account-holder. As long as the Flickr account is active, Yahoo! has the ability to produce content in the account
    – with associated upload IP addresses and date and time – as well as the email and Groups information for the
    account."

    For groups:
    "Yahoo! maintains information about Group moderators, as well as an activity log for each Group. The Group activity
    log is a transactional log that indicates when members have subscribed or unsubscribed from the Group, posted or
    deleted files or polls, or other similar events. Not all Group activities are logged, however. For example, the reading
    of messages or downloading of files or photos is not logged.
    Although the Group Message archive maintains messages sent to Group members, the message archive does not
    contain any attachments to the messages. Yahoo! does not maintain those attachments in any form.
    For current Groups, Yahoo! retains information relating to the moderator, members, and the active contents of the
    Files, Photos, and Messages sections. If a Group has been deactivated or deleted, information about the Group
    may be preserved for approximately 30 days, after which the information may be deleted."

    For geocities and other premium web services:
    "For web-hosting
    and domains, Yahoo! will have basic Yahoo! registration information about the user who posted the page. Yahoo!
    also will have the active files that the user has uploaded to the website, including the date on which the files were
    uploaded, and the domain-based email that is available to the user. Deleted email is not available."

    And here is how much it costs:
    " Basic subscriber records: approx. $20 for the first ID, $10 per ID thereafter
        Basic Group Information (including information about moderators): approx. $20 for a group with a
        single moderator
        Contents of subscriber accounts, including email: approx. $30-$40 per user
        Contents of Groups: approx. $40 - $80 per group"

  • by JustOK (667959)

    We the people is a law enforcement agency.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bill_mcgonigle (4333) *

      We the people is a law enforcement agency.

      We the People ought to be enforcing the Common Law, but ... hey, who's on Idol tonight?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by lwsimon (724555)

      In the US, the people are the final authority on what is right and wrong, Constitutional or not.

      In my opinion, Marbury v. Madison was a terrible ruling, and the beginning of the American decline. Without that ruling, it would have been up to the people to police Congress, and the level of apathy we see today would have never been attained.

      • by nomadic (141991)
        In my opinion, Marbury v. Madison was a terrible ruling, and the beginning of the American decline. Without that ruling, it would have been up to the people to police Congress, and the level of apathy we see today would have never been attained.

        In other words, mob rule. Awesome.
        • by lwsimon (724555)

          To quote Jefferson:

          [quote]God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is
          wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ... And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of
          resistance

          • Yes... two centuries of a stable government has provided among the highest standards of living and opportunity, but you'd rather throw that away for a government that gets bloodily overthrown every few years such as the paradises that are Afghanistan... and Somalia... and Haiti.....

            You, sir, are a complete moron who has no idea how nice you have it and how bad unstable governments really are.

      • by corbettw (214229)

        If it were up to the people to police Congress, do you honestly think things would be better?

        I'd stick around for your answer but my DVR is almost full and I have to start watching the rest of The Biggest Loser before I run out of space.

        • by lwsimon (724555)

          "The people" wouldn't be apathetic to the political process. I don't know if that would yield a better result or not, but I believe it would.

          And yes, it would be bloody. When Americans lost the desire and ability to stand up and put their own lives and fortunes on the line, then we lost what it was to be an American in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. I think that's very sad, as the American system was a grand experiment and a noble cause - certainly not without its problems, but also certainly th

          • by corbettw (214229)

            "The people" wouldn't be apathetic to the political process.

            What evidence do you have to support this claim? Because all the historical evidence for thousands of years is that most people can't be bothered with worrying about anything beyond the end of their nose. Why do you think, if given the awesome responsibility of policing Congress and the laws, that the average person would suddenly rise to the occasion? They can't even be bothered to vote out incumbents but you think they could override lobbyists and multi-thousand page laws?

  • Shame (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sjames (1099) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @03:38PM (#30345184) Homepage

    Yahoo wrote in its objection letter that if its pricing information were disclosed to Soghoian, he would use it “to ’shame’ Yahoo! and other companies — and to ’shock’ their customers.”

    It's hard to shame someone who doesn't already feel that they have something to be ashamed of. I guess we know Yahoo understands it's behavior to be shameful but continues to do it.

    • Yahoo is a company; shame doesn't enter in to the equation. Only how profitable one option is over another.

      • by sjames (1099)

        A company is incapable of feeling shame (which is why so many behave so shamefully), but can recognize that people feeling that they SHOULD feel shame can damage that profitability.

        Unfortunately, by not actually feeling shame, corporations (unlike most people) can entirely avoid the many negative consequences of shameful behavior if they can keep it secret. As that can be quite profitable, they naturally prefer secrecy over doing the right thing. The one saving grace is that occasionally their secrets get d

    • I think everyone here is very much missing the point: They are providing these pieces of information in response to lawful orders like subpoenas. They do not have the ability to say no to those, it is illegal and they would get in trouble. So why the price sheet? Because the law does not require that third parties spend money to cooperate with the police. You can bill them for the costs incurred. Hence, for large companies that get requests all the time, having a price sheet makes sense. That way there's no

      • by sjames (1099)

        I don't blame them for charging, I certainly don't expect them to do it for free.

        They are legally required to respond with whatever records they have, but nothing says they have to keep those records at all. They are free to retain them only as aggregate stats, toss them within 24 hours, or even send them directly to /dev/null.

        I don't expect the latter, that makes troubleshooting a problem, but why in the world would they keep any information dating to 1999?

        It seems that Yahoo themselves believe it's someth

    • That’s a really primitive way of seeing it, but you’re right.

      In reality, as shame is entirely based on social conditioning, and has no base in biology, the shame is relative to the social mindset//world/group you live in. (Which does not have to be the same as that of the people you have contact with.)

      For example: An nudist in a community of nudists, is not ashamed at all. Some are not even ashamed when they are not in that community.
      And there is no right/wrong about it. It’s all arbitrary

      • by sjames (1099)

        Actually, shame may be in part biological and in part social. The capacity for shame seems to be wired into the brain at some level, but what triggers it varies with our social norms.

        Over all, it probably helps humanity be somewhat cohesive as a society. Honestly, most people don't KNOW the law well enough to obey it, they just know what behaviors bring shame and avoid those. This is particularly tied to parenting.

        In that context, Yahoo believes that a significant portion of their customer base would believ

  • This is outrageous.

    If someone leaked that the USPS was steaming open letters for the government for $40 or whatever people would be going ape-shit.

    • by dangitman (862676)

      If someone leaked that the USPS was steaming open letters for the government for $40 or whatever people would be going ape-shit.

      Yes, they would. But what does that have to do with this story?

      • by Pyrus.mg (1152215) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @04:24PM (#30345536)
        This just shows why you should always go with the car analogy.
      • by thijsh (910751)
        Who really sends dead tree letters nowadays... for all personal purposes e-mail is the new letter medium, but it does not have the same protection as postal mail has. Apparently because e-mails are digital they are legally different and get different legal protection (although people still expect privacy for they peronal e-mail, the law seemingly does not).

        Since the law apparently knows the distinction between real-world and digital versions of basically the same thing, why are people still sued to bankru
    • by iammani (1392285)
      Yeah right, the same people who did not go ape-shit for warrant-less wire tapping, are going ape-shit on yahoo giving the govt your data when presented with a warrant.
  • The fuckers are making US pay for our own data.

    Selling us back our own shit.

    Our taxes pay the cops, they milk the cops in exchange for OUR data.

    Somebody sue these fuckers already...

         

  • 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 9mm Censor (705379) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @05:34PM (#30346024) Homepage
    If I copyright all my emails shouldn't I get a taste when the spooks read my email?
  • Dynamic IPs (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Orion Blastar (457579) <orionblastar@noSPAm.gmail.com> on Sunday December 06, 2009 @05:46PM (#30346114) Homepage Journal

    most people use Dynamic IPs, so they can subpoena the IPs but they will get a lot of "false positives" to track down the owner of those Yahoo IDs. Most people do not have the same ISP they had in 1999 due to the great dial-up to broadband rush after the Dotcom bubble burst. You'll have grandmothers and teenagers be accused of stuff that some random stranger that shared a dynamic IP address with them did.

    Thanks to the Patriot Act, the police, NSA, FBI etc can get the information without a search warrant. The Democrats lead by Obama had promised to remove the Patriot Act as soon as they took office, but why it is still a law, I'll never know. But then many of them voted to pass it when Bush was President anyway. Both the Democrats and Republicans are corrupt in that way.

    By the way Yahoo uses web beacons to track web site usage and most users don't know how to opt out of that. I've opted out of it several times already.

  • Don't be evil (Score:2, Interesting)

    by shadowofwind (1209890)

    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

    • 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.

      Maybe I should clarify by saying that the information that was being discussed was statistical in nature, not information on specific individuals.

  • by Meneth (872868)
    Google is conspicuously absent from the list of companies. I wonder what their price list is like.
  • Not that you have to, but why not make the tyrants job that much harder and more expensive.

    After (they) spend thousands (millions?) gaining access (if possible) to the data, what if all the had was perfectly innocuous (useless) crap?

    Let the paranoid bastards waste their time and money chasing shadows!

    "Freedom has the advantage of being the cheapest form of government" --Desmond Tutu.

  • So, if there's a law that requires ISPs and the like of turning over data to government on request, is there also a law that prevents such service providers of informing a user that some of their personal information has been released and to whom?

RADIO SHACK LEVEL II BASIC READY >_

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