Yahoo Complies with NSA in Obama’s America: Messages Searched for US Intelligence
Murad Makhmudov and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
President Obama of America speaks eloquently about democracy, freedom, and a world of endless options. However, despite the fancy words of political correctness you have a leader who keeps on pushing more military arm sales to the draconian nation of Saudi Arabia, a nation that increasingly seems divided based on racial issues, spying on allies and international institutions, pushing discreetly against the constitution of America, a leader who seeks to protect Saudi Arabia from lawsuits in relation to September 11, and an administration that is determined to plug an anti-Russian Federation agenda based on NATO encroaching more menacingly further eastwards in Europe. Therefore, news that Yahoo agreed to comply with the NSA (National Security Agency – or FBI) further underlines how the Obama administration is fostering deep-seated agendas outside of the squeaky clean image he portrays internationally.
An attorney at the Electronic Freedom Foundation, Andrew Crocker, is alarmed by the latest development. He says, “It’s hard to even anticipate what kind of arguments the government could make for the constitutionality or legality of this program, because the 4th Amendment implication of scanning all incoming emails for a single company are staggering.”
Patrick Toomey, an attorney at American Civil Liberties Union, is dismayed by the compliance of Yahoo. Similarly, just like Andrew Crocker, he points in the direction of the latest development being unconstitutional.
If reports about Yahoo and the NSA are accurate, claims Patrick Toomey, then it “…appears to be unprecedented and unconstitutional. … It is deeply disappointing that Yahoo declined to challenge this sweeping surveillance order, because customers are counting on technology companies to stand up to novel spying demands in court.”
Joseph Menn, the Reuters news agency, reports “Yahoo Inc last year secretly built a custom software program to search all of its customers’ incoming emails for specific information provided by U.S. intelligence officials, according to people familiar with the matter.”
It is known that the NSA requested stored messages to examine in the past and asked for limited numbers of accounts to scan in relation to alleged “national security.” Yet, if reports are accurate about Yahoo and the NSA, then, in this case, all incoming email messages were searched. Thereby, showing the increasing nature of the Obama administration and the NSA in pushing the boundaries of the constitution and laws that apply to privacy.
Joseph Menn says, “According to two of the former employees, Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer’s decision to obey the directive roiled some senior executives and led to the June 2015 departure of Chief Information Security Officer Alex Stamos, who now holds the top security job at Facebook Inc.”
In the past, it is known that Internet and telecom companies in America have abided by intelligence requests for customer data in bulk. Yet, more alarming, Web collection of real-time was achieved this time by creating a powerful new computer system in order to pass on information to the NSA. Therefore, the playing field is being moved to a more menacing area whereby privacy is being thrown out of the window.
The creation of a U.S. phone and Internet companies are known to have handed over bulk customer data to intelligence agencies. But some former government officials and private surveillance experts said they had not previously seen either such a broad demand for real-time Web collection or one that required the creation of a new computer program.
Another issue, outside of privacy, the constitution of America, and the increasing power of the NSA is that it will further increase the need for “a deep web” to be developed to a much higher level. Equally important, the numbers of people who seek to escape the prying eyes of Obama’s America – and his legacy – will increase dramatically on the latest scandal involving Yahoo and the NSA.
After all, the latest revelations will most likely be the tip of yet another iceberg because it seems most unlikely that the NSA only requested this type of surveillance from Yahoo.
Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group
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