“Yahoo was ordered last year to search incoming emails for the digital “signature” of a communications method used by a state-sponsored, foreign terrorist organization, according to a government official familiar with the matter.
The Justice Department obtained the order from a judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
To comply, Yahoo used a modified version of its existing systems that were scanning all incoming email traffic for spam, malware and images of child pornography. The system stored and made available to the Federal Bureau of Investigation a copy of any messages it found that contained the digital signature.
Yahoo was forbidden from disclosing the order and the collection is no longer taking place, the official said Wednesday.”
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If this additional information is correct, it represents an enormously dangerous slippery slope. The inclusion of arbitrary signatures” at the behest of the government into malware/spam/cporn (“PhotoDNA”) scanning systems is a dramatic departure from firms cooperating with each other, into the realm of secret government mandates.
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I have consulted to Google, but I am not currently doing so — my opinions expressed here are mine alone.
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The correct term is “Internet” NOT “internet” — please don’t fall into the trap of using the latter. It’s just plain wrong!