Groups to Yahoo and US Government: You Owe Us Answers on Spy Ops

October 2, 2020 0 By HearthstoneYarns

Civil liberties advocates are demanding answers for Yahoo’s spying operation revealed earlier this month, as news emerges that the government order behind the email scan will likely remain classified.

Obama administration officials told Reuters on Tuesday that the government is hesitant about releasing the order to a wider audience on the grounds that it is a national security matter. The statement came as dozens of advocacy groups sent a letter (pdf) to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper asking for the order to be declassified to determine if it violated both constitutional and international human rights, among other laws.

“We believe such a massive scan of the emails of millions of people, particularly if it involves the scanning of email content, could violate [the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act], the Fourth Amendment, and international human rights law,” the coalition of more than 30 groups wrote.

The order asked Yahoo to scan its customers’ emails for a certain digital “signature” allegedly associated with a foreign power. With the order still classified, the signature currently remains unknown.

The letter continues: