US government threatened to fine Yahoo $250K per day for not handing over user data

By Shawn Knight
Sep 12, 2014
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  1. Yahoo has been one of the more transparent tech companies as it relates to privacy ever since whistleblower Edward Snowden stunned the world with his NSA surveillance revelations. In an effort to prove that they didn't just go along with...

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  2. Snowden

    Snowden TS Member Posts: 68   +31

    Thanks, me.
    H3llion and CrisisDog like this.
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,527   +688

    I was a staunch advocate of hunting down Snowden and eliminating him in the early days of his release of information, but I must admit that with the amount of information that has been proven and the underhanded tactics of this government, I am now more inclined to nominate him for sainthood! Far too much had been hidden under the auspices of "national security" which is simply no more than an embarrassment to the government and the corruption of the not so Supreme Court continues to degrade the value and practice of the Constitution. Sadly, the more I see the more I expect the US to face it's own Arab Spring one of these days ... something the framers of the constitution may have also anticipated ...
  4. RustyTech

    RustyTech TS Guru Posts: 820   +390

    Can we vote for TechSpot to block this account? I highly double the real Snowden would be using his real name and picture.
  5. amstech

    amstech TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 1,441   +594

    The government forcing Yahoo to hand over data is unconstitutional, illegal and violates privacy rights on about 100 different levels. They should be punished for abusing their power and government officials who don't comply should be hanged in public.
    H3llion and cliffordcooley like this.
  6. scout2of3

    scout2of3 TS Rookie

    I agree wholeheartedly. I also think that this government needs a good cleansing.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  7. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,729   +1,093

    "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." - H. L. Mencken.

    I don't get it... we put up with getting scanned at the airport and having our bags searched by a person before going into a sporting or music event. But when it comes to having your email be searched my a computer program to see if you're emailing someone in Saudi Arabia who's on some watch list, then we get all freaked out about our rights and how invasive our govt is, blah blah blah.

    Terrorism isn't just 'over there' anymore and it's not just middle easterners. ISIS has plenty of British and other Europeans on their payroll and just yesterday they convicted an American trying to help them.

    You'd think the mass shootings in recent years would be enough to make people care less about surveillance. Every time some wacko goes off and kills a bunch of people everyone laments about 'How did we miss the warning signs?' etc.

    I really hope we're not cutting off our nose to spite our face.
  8. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,729   +1,093

    Ha, public execution! Coincidentally, that's exactly the form of govt the jihadists are planning to bring to America. You should be sure to let them know they have your support.
    Sludge likes this.
  9. Sludge

    Sludge TS Rookie

    The government's been needing it for decades.
  10. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,249   +220

    This is not the case of user end, this is the case of service end which is being "raped" by the Gov.
  11. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,729   +1,093

    Of course it's about the end user. Do you think the American public is coming to the defense of a large corporation because they feel sorry for Yahoo? America has elected a federal govt of the party of big govt and we've demonized corporations as greedy and evil. The only reason that's changed in this case is because this is about the end user and the end users' data. Why else would people care? No one cares if the govt "rapes" a company via taxes and mindless regulation.
    Axle Greese likes this.
  12. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,298   +668

    Brilliant picture. "Police state," indeed. Constant spying on innocent Americans without cause, using SECRET laws and SECRET courts, all without warrants, is exactly the kind of nightmare government we've been warned about for over 100 years. And what do most people do? Maybe complain about it to a co-worker, or post about it online (which instantly gets you onto a watch list, btw). As long as the technocrats have absolute control and the people are too busy or too lazy to present a united, very loud voice of protest nothing will change. Blanket surveillance actually HURTS our counter-terrorism efforts. It creates mountains of pointless data to analyze. The three-letter agencies need to go back to focusing on the most likely threats in order to get useful intelligence into the right hands as quickly as possible. You can still make a difference without even getting up from your computer. Use as much anonymizing software as you possibly can: not only does it help protect you but it also flags your activity. If everyone was using TOR and/or HTTPS anonymous proxies the NSA's flagging would quickly become meaningless. They would be forced to go back to intelligently profiling threats again instead of relying on automated eavesdropping. You can even protect your email to an extent by using a smaller provider instead of one of the big services (I.e. Outlook, AIM, Yahoo and Gmail). If you want to get extreme you can start using encryption such as PGP, although very few people you communicate with will be willing to put up with the extra hassle. Anything we can do to encourage our intelligence agencies to start being *intelligent* again is a win for American security AND freedom.
  13. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Maniac Posts: 939   +244

    The way I see it, the vast majority of these incidents were perpetrated by someone who has absolutely no association with a known terrorist group, and as such, are likely off the radar of the NSA or any other agency that works to "combat terrorism."

    The only way that such people might be caught is if everyone's e-mail, twitter, facebook, or any other "e" account were scanned by some program that looks for certain key words that indicate that the particular individual may be up to something nefarious.

    The key word in what I just said is "everyone's." Let's forget the practical aspects of such a task and consider for a moment just what that means. As I see it, it means absolutely no privacy for anyone in their electronic communications. It likely means that if someone were joking about something like this, they would be arrested and brought in for questioning (note this has already happened to a few ignorant fools posting "jokes" to social media), and since it would be well-known that this happens, anyone who is serious about performing a nefarious act would never communicate it to anyone in any manner where their plot could be discovered. It is likely, then, that such surveillance would be absolutely useless and only serve to create a world so paranoid that it would be hard to do anything at all nefarious or not.

    I liken the situation to news reports of someone who, through no fault of their own, just happens get robbed or get shot anywhere in any place in the world. News media jumps on this like flies on you know what, and before we know it, we have everyone saying that the area where the incident happened is a place no one should be caught dead in even though the statistical probabilities of the same thing happening to anyone in that area are probably on the order of the statistical probabilities of getting bit by a great white shark. If you look up those statistics, around 10 people per year get bit by sharks of any kind which means that for any individual, there is what amounts to a 0.000000001 percent chance they will get bit by a shark. Yet I am sure there are still people out there who fear getting bit by a shark, and from a purely statistical viewpoint, such people should be considered insane as I see it.

    As I see it, the problems that surveillance of everyone's e-communications would attempt to solve have much deeper roots, and such surveillance would not solve the problem. Personally, I would rather not live in a fear based world like that. It would, for all intents and purposes be Orwell's 1984 incarnate.
  14. BlueDrake

    BlueDrake TS Evangelist Posts: 346   +101

    People just want to claim credit, we all know it's not really him on the site.
    Snowden likes this.
  15. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,729   +1,093

    I see your point.. but there's one big difference between your example and the reason for fear. yes, people might be afraid of sharks even though getting attacked is unlikely, but it HAS happened. And that's the difference. Nothing has ever happened from the surveillance. No one was hurt, no one was threatened, and no one has ever been put in jail for their emails. In fact, we didn't even know our rights were being infringed on until Snowden told us.

    Now, you could say, well, would it be ok for someone to steal money from you even if you didn't know it was happening? And I'd say, no, of course not, but if they were stealing so little money that I couldn't even find evidence of it, and that money was being used to just MAYBE help prevent a wacko from blowing up a bus stop, I wouldn't care. I'd be ok with it. I know I'm pretty much alone in that opinion, but I see terrorism as being a bigger threat to Americans than an NSA filtering program looking for communications to parts of the world many of us can't even find on a map.
  16. Snowden

    Snowden TS Member Posts: 68   +31

    I vote you learn what a pseudonym is.

  17. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,964   +355

    I think we've had enough personal comments. Let's get back on topic shall we?
  18. As in "not a single crime has been prevented"? I concur.

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