Yahoo Ready To Fight The Govt For User Privacy: Protecting Terrorists?

Yahoo is in no mood to toe the line set by the Government of India. It has now approached the Delhi HC against the order of the Controller of Certifying Authorities (CCA).

The Government of India attempted to make Yahoo an example for not complying with its rules. It had earlier slapped Rs. 11 Lakh  as penalty for its failure to provide email information of persons in national interest. Government of India had asked Yahoo to surrender information of about 11 Yahoo IDs & the IP addresses through which they were accessed. These ids are supposedly used by Islamic terrorists and Maoists & GoI felt it could invoke the Section 28 of the Information Technology (IT) Act on the grounds of National Security.

Yahoo refused to comply or pay the fine stating it was bound by confidentiality agreements & that could not be breached.  GoI did not buy the argument & slapped the fine. All this started when GoI received large number of emails that claimed responsibility for the Delhi HC blast earlier this year. Since these emails were apparently sent from a Yahoo ID, GoI issued number of Notices, which also forms the basis of the Petition filed.

Yahoo feels GoI has used wrong means (laws) to usurp information, “The government cannot under the cloak of national security implications bypass legal procedures,” the petitioner has argued, “claiming the section and clauses invoked by the Union ministry to demand information from Yahoo doesn’t empower the government to do so.”

Yahoo further asks, “What happened to the Right To Privacy of a company that stores such sensitive data and to what extent authorities can coerce it to part with the information considered necessary to either track terror perpetrators or thwart future attacks.” However, Yahoo is also objecting about the “Procedure”, It states, “The request wasn’t made under proper channel and it should have come from another authority dealing with cyber security.” But the reasoning fell on deaf ears!

While Google does it regularly, does Yahoo feel like complying or not? On one hand we have the imminent threat to National Security & on the other we have our Privacy. Who do you support?

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