Yahoo email scanning explanations rejected by EU

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Explanations given by the United States government to the European Commission about the secret court order asking Yahoo to scan all incoming emails to gather intelligence were rejected for failing to meet expectations, Reuters reported.

In an exclusive news report, Reuters announced that the US government in October last year asked Yahoo to search all incoming emails for a specific digital signature. The exact type of information sought was not disclosed, nor was the amount of data handed to US intelligence. As the search targeted Europeans’ data, the commission demanded further explanations about the Yahoo email scanning.

“I am not satisfied because to my taste the answer came relatively late and relatively general, and I will make clear at the first possible opportunity to the American side that this is not how we understand good, quick and full exchange of information,” EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said in the interview.

In November, the commission requested further explanations “as part of its monitoring of a new transatlantic pact facilitating the exchange of personal data by businesses,” especially since the scanning raised questions about the safety and privacy of Europeans’ data collected on US servers. Yahoo is not part of the Privacy Shield and the email scanning occurred before the discussion of the act.

“For the first time ever, the United States has given the EU binding assurances that the access of public authorities for national security purposes will be subject to clear limitations, safeguards and oversight mechanisms,” Commissioner Jourová said in February 2016. “In the context of the negotiations for this agreement, the US has assured that it does not conduct mass or indiscriminate surveillance of Europeans. We have established an annual joint review in order to closely monitor the implementation of these commitments.”

The first annual review is scheduled for this summer, with the participation of President-elect Donald Trump.

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