Yahoo attempts to keep its snitching secret!

Spotted this on Saoirse32, an Irish republican* website:

Those of you who host or visit republican groups on Yahoo might want to read a leaked copy of Yahoo’s law enforcement compliance guidelines found currently on The level to which Yahoo is willingly ready to turn over any and all information concerning personal information, group moderator info, files uploaded, friends lists etc is a bit chilling, and it does not appear that it takes much of a request for them to do so.

The offending PDF is still available on the Cryptome website, as are copies of the correspondence into the matter between Yahoo and Cryptome. The matter does not yet seemed to have surfaced on Wikileaks, but all in good time, I’m sure.

Yahoo seems not to like the idea of its service users finding out exactly how unprivate their private messages are, something outlined on page six of the document:

This compliance guide is designed to assist law enforcement in understanding Yahoo!’s policies and practices with regard to retention and disclosure of electronic information and to provide answers to frequently asked questions related to subpoenas and other legal process. The policies and procedures in this guide are subject to change without notice, and this document is not meant to be distributed to individuals or organizations that are not law enforcement entities, including Yahoo! customers, consumers, or civil litigants.

It is rather interesting to see Yahoo’s sliding scale of charges levied for passing on users’ information and data on to ‘law enforcement’ (page twelve), though heartwarmingly it is at pains to point out that it “maintains an exception to this policy for cases involving the abduction or exploitation of children”.

As ever, it is good to be reminded that the internet is not necessarily the secure place for free and frank discussion that some might suggest that it was.

* No, I’m not Irish or a republican (in that sense); Saoirse32 is, however, a good paywall-avoiding source of Irish and Northern Irish news.

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