Yahoo Groups – spying on the cheap – secure your emails – intelligence has a price
Yahoo Sells All Its Users Private Email Contents to U.S. Agencies for Small Price
(Mathaba) Yahoo isn’t happy that a detailed menu of the spying services it provides to “law enforcement” and spy agencies has leaked onto the web.
After earlier reports this week that Yahoo had blocked an FOIA Freedom of Information release of its “law enforcement and intelligence price list”, someone helpfully provided a copy of the Yahoo company’s spying guide to the whistleblower web site Cryptome.org.
The 17-page guide, which Yahoo has tried to suppress via legal letters to the Cryptome.org site run by freedom of information champion John Young, describes Yahoo’s policies on keeping the data of Yahoo Email and Yahoo Groups users, as well as the surveillance and spying capabilities it can give to the U.S. government and its agencies.
The Yahoo document is a price list for these spying services and has already resulted in many people closing down their accounts in protest. However, closing a Yahoo account is not as easy as one might expect: users have reported great difficulty in finding the link to delete their account, and, Yahoo will still keep data for another 90 days.
If you ask Yahoo! to delete your Yahoo! account, in most cases your account will be deactivated and then deleted from our user registration database in approximately 90 days. This delay is necessary to discourage users from engaging in fraudulent activity.
Please note that any information that we have copied may remain in back-up storage for some period of time after your deletion request. This may be the case even though no information about your account remains in our active user databases.
Many government leaders and officials around Africa, Asia and Latin America are known by Mathaba to widely be using Yahoo, Gmail, and Hotmail in spite of these Email services being hosted on U.S. computers and the ease that gives the hosts to access their data.. Mathaba has also long been aware of a great many business people, politicians and even Presidents who use the “free” web-based email services of Yahoo for their Email communications, thus making it easy for the U.S. and its owners to spy on them with negligible cost.