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Reuters: Yahoo email scanning done with a Linux kernel module

Politicians and privacy groups want to see the court order authorizing this bulk surveillance.
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Reuters/Robert Galbraith/File Photo

In the ever evolving saga of Yahoo's email servers and who could peek into them, the latest nugget comes from a Reuters report that the scanning program operated at a deeper level than mail filters for porn or spam. Citing three former employees, it now says the scanning was done via a module attached to the Linux kernel itself. While the more technically-minded wondered why this method would've been employed at all, others like Senator Ron Wyden called for the government to release the FISA order apparently ordering the surveillance.

In a statement, Wyden commented that "The USA Freedom Act requires the executive branch to declassify Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court opinions that involve novel interpretations of laws or the Constitution and I certainly expect the Executive Branch to follow this law." The Electronic Frontier Foundation is similarly interested in the order, again pointing to the USA Freedom Act passed in June 2015 as the reason we should know why this scanning happened.

The EFF specifically pointed out House member John Conyers' statement that the bill "required public disclosure of all significant opinions of the FISA court." It says hat hasn't happened because the Department of Justice has refused to comply and has not started the process of declassifying opinions that happened prior to the act passing into law.

So far we haven't seen any comments from the government agencies (DoJ, FBI/NSA), but this story -- as well as details of Yahoo's other breaches and the $1 billion price cut Verizon is reportedly asking for -- will not go away anytime soon.

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