Monday, December 7, 2009

"Lawful Spying" Price Lists Leaked

"Wired has a story about how the site leaked the price lists for 'lawful spying' activities of Yahoo and other companies, and subsequently received a DMCA takedown notice from Yahoo. The documents, however, are still posted online, and in them you can learn, for instance, that IP logs last for one year, but the original IPs used to create accounts have been kept since 1999. The contents of your Yahoo account are bought for $30 to $40 by law enforcement agencies."

I'll be picking on Yahoo here as an example, but there are also guides for Yahoo, Cox, SBC-Ameritech, Cingular, Cricket, Nextel, Pacific Telesis, ATT, Sprint, and GTE. I'd like to point out that upon reading the guide it seems like they are more compiling with laws. I couldn't find anything in the guide that proved they offer information without a warrant.  That's certainly not proof that they don't though.  However, they did issue a DMCA takedown notice about the guide, which inherently makes them evil. This info was orginally attempted via a FOIA request. However Yahoo objected to it, and said, "Therefore, release of Yahoo!’s information is reasonably likely to lead to impairment of its reputation for protection of user privacy and security, which is a competitive disadvantage for technology companies,".  In other words the public knowing the truth would hurt Yahoo.

Excerpts from the PDF guide:

What Information Can Yahoo! Provide?
  • Subscriber Information

    • Subscriber information supplied by the user at the time of registration, including name, location, date account created, and services used.
    • IP addresses associated with log-ins to a user account are available for up to one year.
    • Registration IP address data available for IDs registered since 1999.
  • Yahoo! Mail (including email associated with specific properties such as Personals, Small Business, Domains, and Flickr)

    • Any email available in the user’s mail account, including IP address of computer used to send email.
    • Yahoo! is not able to search for or produce deleted emails.
    • Note that Yahoo! now hosts two new email domains: and
  • Yahoo! Chat/Messenger

    • Friends List for Yahoo! Messenger.
    • Time, date, and IP address logs for Chat and Messenger use within the prior 45-60 days.
    • Archives of Messenger communications may be available on the user’s computer if the user has chosen to archive communications.
    • Archives of Web Messenger communications may be stored on Yahoo! servers if at least one party to the communication chose to archive communications. 

Basic subscriber records: approx. $20 for the first ID, $10 per ID thereafter
Basic Group Information (including information about moderators): approx. $20 for a group with a single moderator
Contents of subscriber accounts, including email: approx. $30-$40 per user
Contents of Groups: approx. $40 - $80 per group

No comments:

Post a Comment