So it seems that Yahoo! Is doing more than just providing us with a search portal, free email, instant messenger service. That’s right, Yahoo! Is spying on you and they are threatening those who are reporting this information with legal action.
So what exactly is all this about? The long and short of it is that Cryptome.org published The 17-page guide that describes”Yahoo’s data retention policies and the surveillance capabilities it can provide law enforcement, with a pricing list for these services. Cryptome also published lawful data-interception guides for Cox Communications, SBC, Cingular, Nextel, GTE and other telecoms and service providers.”
So it would seem that Yahoo! Thinks it’s in the spying business, only it isn’t. Yahoo! Is more of a high priced snitch than a spying entity. The distinction between the two is profound, a spy acquires information on an opposing government or any other entity. The spy is often motivated by patriotism or some other selfless reason though this is not a prerequisite. Throughout history there have been spies who simply wanted adventure or enjoyed the clandestine “Cloak & Dagger” way of living life. A spy is almost never motivated by money as is evidence by all the turncoat spies captured in the United States, i.e. Robert Hansen.
A snitch is something all together different, a snitch is motivated by greed or the desire to stay out of prison or some other self serving motivation. As is evident by the fact that Yahoo! Has a pricing guide for the different types of information it gathers on it’s users.
Before I continue with this article, many of you may be wondering what makes me an authority on spying? The answer is that I am the son of a former CIA spy Boris Korczak and I grew up in a very strange way. Up until the age of 6 or 7, I had lots of “Russian Uncles” who would visit my father on a regular basis. Of course, all this ended when they found out that he was a CIA spy and reporting back to Langley, at that point they obviously wanted to kill him.
That’s another story all together so lets get back on the topic of Yahoo! And it’s snitching and I can think of no better way then to have a look at their price guide courteous of Cryptome.org and Wired.com.
You may be asking what type of information Yahoo is collecting and selling to the Authorities. The Price guide states that Yahoo doesn’t retain copies of emails that an user sends out, that is unless that user sets up their account to store the outbound e-mails. Yahoo can’t search for or produce deleted e-mails once they’ve been removed from a user’s trash file.
Yahoo retains IP addresses that users use to log in for a period of just one year. The company’s logs of IP addresses used to register first time new accounts goes back to 1999. The contents of accounts on Flickr, which is also owned by Yahoo, are purged upon the deactivation of the account.
Chatting done through Yahoo’s Web Messenger could be saved by Yahoo if one of the parties in the chat sets up his or her account to archive their chats. The only good news is that this only applies to the web-based version of the chat service.
Instant message logs are retained for anywhere between 45 to 60 days and the scary part is that Yahoo retains users friends list, as well as the date and times that the user last communicated with them.
If you are using the downloaded version of Yahoo’s instant messaging software then Yahoo is not able to store your chat sessions and so this part of their spying campaign does not apply to you.
So Yahoo! Decides to file a DMCA take-down notice to Cryptome demanding the document be removed. Not to worry, I will be posting a link to the information that Cryptome.org has up on it’s website as well as a pdf copy that will be uploaded to one or all the major file sharing websites such as rapidshare.com
In essence, Yahoo, as well as several other companies such a COX communications, are behaving like whores but Yahoo is the only whore attempting to muscle people around to keep their whoring ways a secret.
If you would like to download or look at the Yahoo! Papers in question you can do so by visiting the following link to Cryptome.org Yahoo Price Guide Document.
In the event that Cryptome.org is left with no alternative but to give into Yahoo’s demands you can still download the Yahoo price guide for snitching services at the following links. The document is in PDF format and you’ll need Adobe Reader (Free Software) to view the document. Click here to download the document from megaupload.
You can also download this document from Rapidshare.com
Or finally, you can download the file from LetItBit.net
Given the nature of this information and the importance of Free Speech I am granting reprinting rights to anyone and everyone who would like to use this article free of charge. The only thing I ask is that you give credit to the author (Rob Korczak) as well as a link back to http://www.robertkorczak.com or the article itself.
Be sure to keep information free, don’t ever let them win with strong-arm tactics because of all the rights that we the people have, the right to free speech is of the highest importance since ideas are bullet proof and are more powerful than any armies or governments.
By Rob Korczak