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.They didn't just comply with one of those bullshit sooper-seekrit subpoenas that the rubber-stamp FISA court says is legal. Oh, no. They built software to help the spooks search Yahoo emails.
The company complied with a classified U.S. government demand, scanning hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts at the behest of the National Security Agency or FBI, said three former employees and a fourth person apprised of the events.
Which would be like your landlord not only letting the cops into your apartment for a little game of sneak-and-peek, but hiring a working crew to help the cops search.
The only good thing I can say about this is that Yahoo isn't hiding the story. Which is a little bit surprising.
Full disclosure: I have a Yahoo mail account. I only use it for signing up for online contests and other such bullshit that's guaranteed to generate tons of spam.
Yahoo sucks. In the late `90s, when they were the search engine, they annoyed the shit out of everyone by loading up search results with sponsored links. Their pages were clunky and slow to load, which was a big deal in a time when most people were using dial-up modems at 56K or slower. Google came along and very quickly ate Yahoo's lunch.
If you have a Yahoo account that you use for any reason other than spam-catching, you should change to another provider-- at least one that is not so eager to help the spooks spy on you.
But the sad reality is that nobody really gives a fuck. Of all the years that I've had PGP installed, only one email correspondent engages in encrypted communications with me. I have the Signal app on my phone-- nobody else I know uses it.
So as much as people cavail about DasGov reading their personal shit, they won't take a few simple steps to prevent them from doing it. Yes, it's illegal for a burglar to walk through your front door and take your shit. But you shouldn't be leaving your front door open, let alone unlocked.
Don't make it easy for the criminals to take your shit (and yes, I regard the spooks as being no better than criminals).