Google Inc. E. The International News Agency Reuters

Better Essays

On Tuesday October 4, 2016, the international news agency Reuters published an article revealing that Yahoo Inc. had secretly made a custom program that scanned all of its customers incoming emails. The Article stated that this was done in compliance with a classified demand handed down from one of the intelligence Agencys of the United States. It goes on to further state that the program was discovered by a security team in May of 2015, when a security team thought that the yahoo system was being hacked. While legally permissible, it was morally wrong for Yahoo Inc. to create a program that scanned its users’ emails without their consent. This action defies Yahoo users’ moral right to privacy, as well as their moral right to informed …show more content…

This further break of user trust and treat to user data will be discussed later.
An article published by the New York Times on Wednesday October 5, 2016 stated that Yahoo had not created new software for the purpose of scanning its users’ content, but had adapted an existing filter, which was intended to scan for spam and child pornography. The article claimed that the government had requested the altered filter look for a ‘computer signature’ on emails that was reportedly tied to state sponsored terrorist organisations. It is important to note that in the article published by Reuters the sources were connected to or were former Yahoo Employees, and that in that article Reuters stated that its questions to the National Security Agency were directed to the Director of National Intelligence, which declined to comment. The Article published a day later by the New York Times the sources were two anonymous government officials.
Regardless of the nature of the content scanning program, the fact remains that it exists or existed in some form. Was it legal for the government of the United States to request that Yahoo create this scanning system? While the situation is questionable, the short answer is yes. In the United States, there are several laws and executive orders which permit the secret collection of data, including Executive order 12333 which was enacted by former president Ronald Regan , the USA Freedom Act which was a

Get Access
Get Access