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Communications Electronic Frontier Foundation Government Privacy The Courts United States Yahoo!

Yahoo Receives Special Recognition For Fighting For User Data Privacy 58 58

An anonymous reader writes "The Electronic Frontier Foundation awarded Yahoo a gold star for its diligence in fighting for user privacy in courts. From the release: 'In 2007, Yahoo received an order to produce user data under the Protect America Act (the predecessor statute to the FISA Amendments Act, the law on which the NSA’s recently disclosed Prism program relies). Instead of blindly accepting the government’s constitutionally questionable order, Yahoo fought back. The company challenged the legality of the order in the FISC, the secret surveillance court that grants government applications for surveillance. And when the order was upheld by the FISC, Yahoo didn’t stop fighting: it appealed the decision to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, a three-judge appellate court established to review decisions of the FISC. ... Yahoo went to bat for its users – not because it had to, and not because of a possible PR benefit – but because it was the right move for its users and the company. It’s precisely this type of fight – a secret fight for user privacy – that should serve as the gold standard for companies, and such a fight must be commended. While Yahoo still has a way to go in the other Who Has Your Back categories (and they remain the last major email carrier not using HTTPS encryption by default), Yahoo leads the pack in fighting for its users under seal and in secret.'" Although they did end up losing, and were forbidden from even mentioning the existence of the case until recently.
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Yahoo Receives Special Recognition For Fighting For User Data Privacy

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  • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Monday July 15, 2013 @10:13PM (#44291927) Journal

    They will risk jail and disregard all gag orders as a clear violation of free speech rights. I'm not impressed with show trials while secret deals are made in the back room.

  • Remarkable and sad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mi (197448) <slashdot-2015q2@virtual-estates.net> on Monday July 15, 2013 @10:20PM (#44291981) Homepage Journal
    It is remarkable, that they put up such a fight. It is sad, that they had to... It is encouraging, that the gag-order was not indefinite.

    I can see, why this sort of procedure — including the gag-order — may be justified in some cases. But it is so easy to abuse, I'm not sure, the benefits we are getting are worth the risk we are taking.

  • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @12:02AM (#44292673) Journal

    That's right, and this article has me beginning to doubt the objectivity of the EFF and has me wondering why they are kissing corporate ass. It's like giving the Nobel to Obama. Pure bullshit. Neither Yahoo or any other company of its size will ever act heroically in any fashion. The have no reason to do so. The best they will ever do is put on these fine displays to pump up the share price for a couple days and to pacify us useless takers.

  • by Holi (250190) on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @12:05AM (#44292695)

    Because in China it's the Law. And here they fought to follow the law. It's just the US government decided that the law does not apply to them.

  • Re:So um... Yay? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by davester666 (731373) on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @12:27AM (#44292851) Journal

    What fight?

    Going to a secret court where you WILL lose, then appealing to another secret court, where you WILL lose? How heroic.

    It's one thing to work hand-in-glove with them like Microsoft and the telecom companies do, but being praised for going through a pointless exercise is a bit much.

    It's like building a datacenter 100m closer to a hydro-electric dam than your competitor and claiming you only use green energy because of it's proximity.

  • by wierd_w (1375923) on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @01:14AM (#44293095)

    It is when said court is *secret*, the laws used by the court are *secret*, the verdicts reached by the courts are *secret*, and the punishments and actions encted by that court are *secret*.

    To better understand, let's use an argumentum ad absurdium:

    The secret court decided that anyone who wears blue, of any shade, is a terror suspect, because of intelligence that cells of terrorists are identifying each other based on wearing blue clothing. They keep this pronouncement in the strictest of confidences, lest the terrorists find out, and switch to earing pink.

    Blue jeans are absurdly popular as casual wear in the USA. As such, "wearing blue" makes basically everyone into a terror suspect. Due dilligence requires the intelligene agencies, and secret intelligence courts to investigate and authorize said investigation, of basically everyone. False positives happen. It's life.

    Robert Anyman, who lives at 421 maple street, gets unceremoniously arrested, by a secret court order, issued by the secret court, by secret police. He is prevented from exercising his right to counsel of his choosing, because the law he is being charged under is secret, and ordinary lawyers are not alowed to know such laws even exist, let alone what they say!

    In the end, since nobody is allowed to check and impose oversight on this secret legal system, that legal system, and its enforcers, can do anything and arrest anyone they want, for any reason. They don't have to explain their actions, under grounds of national security.

    That is why this is a very bad thing, and you should not buy into the sob story they are spinning about catching terrorists.

  • Re:So um... Yay? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by somersault (912633) on Tuesday July 16, 2013 @05:55AM (#44294317) Homepage Journal

    Yeah. Let's all just give up right now. Especially if nobody is going to know about it. Nice attitude there.

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