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Leaked File Reveals Yahoo's Spy Service

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 20 comments

A leaked file revealing Yahoo's spy policies is a topic in a tug-of-war battle.

Wired reports that a 17-page guide revealing Yahoo's "spying services" has leaked onto the Internet, and that the company is now issuing takedown notices to websites hosting the file. The sensitive document appeared immediately after Yahoo had blocked the Freedom of Information Act release of its law enforcement and intelligence price list last week.

Whistleblower website Cryptome was the first to receive the document, who also published "lawful data-interception" guides for other companies including Nextel, Cingular, Cox Communications, and more. The site reports that the document not only provides information on Yahoo's surveillance capabilities, but also its data retention policies.

Yahoo's lawyers issued a DMCA takedown notice to Cryptome, claiming that the publication of the document is a copyright violation. John Young, owner and operator of Cryptome, was ordered to remove the document from his website by Thursday. Currently the sensitive document still remains on the website.

The transaction between Yahoo and Young can be seen here, with the latest installment provided by Yahoo hounds barking that Young's delay in removing the file is not warranted. Young claims that the Yahoo document is not copyrighted material, and will not remove the document because "it provides information that is in the public interest about Yahoo's contradictory privacy policy and should remain a topic of public debate on ISP unacknowledged spying complicity with officials for lucrative fees."

The file in question is in PDF format, and can be downloaded here.

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Top Comments
  • 17 Hide
    okibrian , December 7, 2009 11:54 PM
    The last time I used Yahoo! was like 1997 I think.
Other Comments
  • 5 Hide
    truehighroller , December 7, 2009 11:39 PM
    Please take it down LMAO. FAIL~!
  • 4 Hide
    Shadow703793 , December 7, 2009 11:49 PM
    lol, and here I thought Yahoo was the Non Evil one :lol: 
    /sarcasm
  • Display all 20 comments.
  • 17 Hide
    okibrian , December 7, 2009 11:54 PM
    The last time I used Yahoo! was like 1997 I think.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , December 8, 2009 12:08 AM
    Verizon ISP service = Yahoo as they are partners

    So if your ISP is Verizon, then you are also under Yahoo. (Bleah)
  • 5 Hide
    buwish , December 8, 2009 12:53 AM
    I'm sure most major ISP's have something similar.
  • 3 Hide
    gantlett , December 8, 2009 8:17 AM
    I don't understand what the whole fuss is about. You think yahoo are the only ones with a legal department ready to turn in all your private data to legal authorities? Do you really think your cell provider isn't keeping a log of all your recent locations? Yes, even when you cheated on your wife that night. Do you really think your ISP isn't logging any porn website or other online activities you've been up to for the past 3 years? Think again.
  • 1 Hide
    Grims , December 8, 2009 11:28 AM
    It really doesn't look that bad to me, the information is only provided if they are subpoenaed for it...in which case any company would have to comply. Furthermore their data retention policies are rather lax...they won't even search for deleted mail of an account.
  • 1 Hide
    leo2kp , December 8, 2009 11:37 AM
    This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, TBH. In fact, I was surprised by how little data was retained. I would be more fearful of what Google has associated with your IP address.
  • 2 Hide
    asdf634 , December 8, 2009 11:42 AM
    back_by_demandFair play, but when a company gets caught, the automatic reaction should be to stop using them. Maybe that way they will get the hint that it's not acceptable. The minute you shrug your shoulders and say "Fuck it, being spied on is just part of life" is the minute they start implanting GPS chips in to the brains of newborn babies.Where is the rage? Where is the army of civil liberties people banging down the doors at Yahoo? Where are the team of auditors demanding this information be deleted?


    Too true, we need to "fight the good fight" and "finish the fight" ;) 
  • 0 Hide
    doc70 , December 8, 2009 12:40 PM
    GantlettI don't understand what the whole fuss is about. You think yahoo are the only ones with a legal department ready to turn in all your private data to legal authorities? Do you really think your cell provider isn't keeping a log of all your recent locations? Yes, even when you cheated on your wife that night. Do you really think your ISP isn't logging any porn website or other online activities you've been up to for the past 3 years? Think again.


    The fuss is - or should be - about our civil liberties being chewed on by this or that corporation/agency while people are shrugging their shoulders. Only a decade ago we had a lot more than we do right now. The founding fathers must be rolling in their graves faster than a power-drill...
    But, to be in consensus, whateva!(sic)


  • 0 Hide
    Regulas , December 8, 2009 1:23 PM
    Bummer but if you use Windows you are running a OS that was designed alongside with the FEDS/NAS and they can access anything they want with ease.
  • 0 Hide
    Regulas , December 8, 2009 1:23 PM
    Correction, FEDS/NSA
  • 2 Hide
    bk420 , December 8, 2009 1:40 PM
    Just great, more invasion of privacy...Go USA---becoming more like China.
  • 1 Hide
    joseflavio , December 8, 2009 2:01 PM
    This is NASTY, I really hope Yahoo go bankrupt! Clearly it is not honest, as common sense says you believe you have some privacy rights in your PERSONAL mail and messenger!

    read this of the document:

    * Archives of Web Messenger communications may be stored on Yahoo! servers if at least one party to the communication chose to archive communications.

    * Any email available in the user’s mail account, including IP address of computer used to
    send email.
    Yahoo! is not able to search for or produce deleted emails.

    I will never, NEVER EVER come close a Yahoo site again!
  • 0 Hide
    quantum mask , December 8, 2009 2:38 PM
    Actually according to the document, they can't produce documents that you delete yourself to law enforcement. So, really we have a responsibility to protect ourselves too. And it's not Yahoo it's the government that will make them do it. Yahoo in this document is just setting their terms and letting them know, "Hey, you're gonna have to pay us if you're gonna make us do it."
  • 3 Hide
    counselmancl , December 8, 2009 3:02 PM
    I am not ok with any of this. I have been cell phone and facebook/myspace free for the last three months and loving it. Also, I still have a life. Imagine that.
  • 0 Hide
    bamslang , December 8, 2009 4:51 PM
    http://cryptome.org/

    If you look, many other companies (ATT, Verizon, Sprint, Cricket, Nextel, etc... list goes on and on) all have similar policies.
  • 0 Hide
    cybrcatter , December 8, 2009 8:32 PM
    The Dark Web will keep it in circulation :) 
  • 0 Hide
    gantlett , December 9, 2009 7:17 AM
    doc70The fuss is - or should be - about our civil liberties being chewed on by this or that corporation/agency while people are shrugging their shoulders.

    back_by_demandFair play, but when a company gets caught, the automatic reaction should be to stop using them.

    You are both absolutely right, I was being sarcastic in my previous post...
    This is indeed wrong, but unfortunately I don't think we have the power to change that, and I am %100 convinced EVERYONE else is doing it, not just Yahoo. This is not to say that makes it right, it just goes to show how little power we consumers have over the authorities and gigantic enterprises. We no longer live in a world of “the customer is always right”. It's now “Buy the shit I'm selling which I've decided is right for you, or fuck off. Next!”.
  • 0 Hide
    gantlett , December 9, 2009 7:38 AM
    I guess what I'm trying to say is that this is beyond our control. This policy is being dictated by the US government.

    If you want more control over your privacy, set up you own cloud based service. You can do it for free too:
    -Get an old PC (OK that part isn't free...)
    -Get a static IP from you ISP / Setup dynamic DNS
    -Install Linux and install Zimbra Open Source edition.
    This will get you email, briefcase and IM for free and you get to safeguard your privacy.
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