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EU demands clarifications over US involvement in Yahoo email surveillance
We all know a thing or two about the US government’s involvement in spying its citizens and foreign leaders; and we also know a thing or two about Yahoo’s deplorable security measures when it comes to emails. So I, for one, wasn’t too surprised when reports of Yahoo aiding the US government in email surveillance started to emerge. That doesn’t mean that it’s not concerning, however. The European Union has now asked the US to clarify on this alleged mass espionage, amid concerns that the US may have violated the Privacy Shield agreement.
It was last month that Reuters reported Yahoo’s involvement in the alleged mass civilian espionage by the US government. According to the report, Yahoo, under the management of the highly questionable Marissa Mayer, built a secret program that can search all of its customers’ incoming emails at the request of the US government. If the report is true, this apparently explains why its chief information security officer, Alex Stamos, left the country to join Facebook later on.
The inquiry from the European Union comes amid rising concerns that not only would this type of spying be ethically wrong, but it also may have violated the new data transfer pact between the US and the EU. After a myriad of leaks pointing to the NSA’s involvement in spying on foreign leaders, the EU enacted the Privacy Shield agreement just a few months ago. Under this, the US agreed to limit the collection of European citizens’ data stored on US servers.
The inquiry from the European Union comes amid rising concerns that not only would this type of spying be ethically wrong, but it also may have violated the new data transfer pact between the US and the EU.
Although Yahoo’s deeply disturbing involvement in the US surveillance happened before the agreement – that is, if such allegations are true – the EU wants clarifications on the US government’s commitment to end its indiscriminate espionage, especially involving EU citizens and leaders. So far, neither Yahoo nor the US have confirmed or denied the allegations, but according to Reuters, a senior US government official said that if true, the surveillance would have been used to detect terrorist activities, which is “good intelligence work.”
Whether spying on its citizens using a US internet company is good intelligence work or not, in my opinion, is for the citizens to decide. With Donald Trump pledging a Muslim registry, regulations of American citizens are going to get worse, if anything, it seems.