Marissa Mayer, who serves as the CEO of Yahoo, recently came forward to assure the company’s users that Yahoo has nothing to hide, and wants to clarify recent claims made about their involvement with the National Security Agency’s PRISM program.
Mayer says that Yahoo received approximately 12,000 to 13,000 requests from law enforcement personnel from early December 2012 through May 31, 2013. These requests not only count for all Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requests but also other types of federal cases involving interstate crimes such as kidnappings, murders or some other kind of major investigation.
Yahoo has joined a growing number of large Internet-based technology and social media companies that have urged lawmakers to allow them to come forward and explain how federal data requests are conducted.
Yahoo cannot legally reveal exactly what federal investigators request since most of that information is classified. Mayer feels, like many other technology company CEOs, that Yahoo has an obligation to be straightforward with their users so they can understand how their E-mails and other forms of data are secured.
Yahoo’s recent stance on being more transparent came after Apple, Facebook and Microsoft took similar actions when the PRISM scandal unfolded.
Google began issuing transparency reports long before the PRISM story broke and vows that they will be urging lawmakers for permission to explain their part in providing data to federal investigators.
Apple just recently came forward with their own statistics with federal data requests and claims they received some 4,000 to 5,000 requests from December 2012 through May 2013. Microsoft came forward on Friday June 14th and claims to have received approximately 6 – 7,000 requests that encompassed between 31,000 – 32,000 user accounts from December 2012 through May 2013.
Prism, which is officially known as US-984XN, is a national security electronic surveillance program that is run by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). The program was first leaked by former NSA intelligence analyst Edward Snowden to the Guardian and also the Washington Post on June 6, 2013. Snowden claims that the electronic surveillance program is not only a blatant intrusion of privacy but a violation to the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Snowden is residing in Hong Kong where he says he will remain and fight any extradition requests by the United States.