Even though we don’t know the specific program used we do know that Yahoo’s tracking tool is similar to the tool used to the one used to look for spam, malware, and child pornography. However it is different than Upstream in the fact that it looks through message headers, message content, and message to and from. The government targeted the specific accounts of foreigners.`
“This is a troubling vision of the future where there might be massive government surveillance done with computers,” Opsahl states “The government may well say they were only targeting a string of characters used by a foreigner, but it just so happened that hundreds of millions of innocent people also had their emails examined too.”
Information such as Identifaction, social security numbers, date of birth, and location if
They are not the only company to have done this. Apple has done a similar thing when they wrote a program to break into an encrypted IPhone involved in the San Bernardino massacre. The FBI dropped the case after the phone revealed the help of a third party. According Sam Biddle, the Interpret, the other internet “giants” (Google, Twitter, Facebook and Apple) denied involvement in the “hacking”.
“The company probably wants to say more, but are gagged by the very same company the accepted the request from.” Opsahl states.
Not long ago Yahoo resisted government demands. The Sunnyvale Company intentionally challenged the program in a battle dating back to 2007, despite being fined 250,000 dollars a day.
Though Yahoo was under different management. Melissa Mayer, a past Google executive for the past four years, was the one who denied such requests.
Yahoo currently has plans to sell the company to Verizon. Verizon currently has no comment on the matter.
Though the question must be asked: Yahoo was asked to do such things in the past, why have they said yes to this specific request?