Google, Yahoo Have More Respect for the Fourth Amendment Than the Feds

Have a policy not to divulge e-mail contents without a warrant


Close enough

Maybe we should start rethinking those cyberpunk dystopian futures where evil megacorporations (Warning! TV Tropes link) control the government and violate our freedoms with their filthy corrupt cronyism?

Yahoo and Google – two online media and email monoliths – have told Wired that they require probable-cause court-issued warrants to reveal the contents of their customers' messages to a greater extent than federal law currently mandates:

Yahoo demands probable-cause, court-issued warrants to divulge the content of messages inside its popular consumer e-mail brands — Yahoo and Ymail, the web giant said Friday.

The Sunnyvale, California-based internet concern's exclusive comments came two days after Google revealed to Wired that it demands probable-cause warrants to turn over consumer content stored in its popular Gmail and cloud-storage Google Drive services — despite the Electronic Communications Privacy Act not always requiring warrants.

"Yes, we require a probable cause warrant for e-mail content," said Yahoo spokeswoman Lauren Armstrong, in an e-mail interview. "That is more than ECPA requires."

The nation's other major consumer-facing e-mail provider — Microsoft — which markets the Hotmail and Outlook brands, declined comment for this story.

David Kravets notes that the companies aren't getting any guff from law enforcement officials over denials and figures they don't want to push the matter into the courts and risk a ruling that could prove most unpleasant to their investigation methods.

Read more about what information Google and Yahoo will provide without a warrant in Kravets' story.

NEXT: Man Who Owes Child Support Ordered To Stop Having Kids

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  1. Sounds like a pretty solid plan to me dude.

    1. Here’s the problem with that right here–the megacorps will be run by adbots, who will constitute a voting majority.

      1. Landru?

        1. You speak in strange whispers.

          1. If I were you, I’d start looking for another job.

  2. Question to Cosmos, what would cosmotopia look like?
    My vision:
    -No national military that might KILL TEH CHILDREN.
    -Wages that reflect the true price of labor, when accounting for it’s abundant supply in this world 😉
    -Easy sex
    All that already exists in a few countries in the world. Anyone know how well it works?

    1. And I’ll add in no environmental protections!

    2. You got banned again? LMAO

      1. Yep.

  3. Like anyone would know if they’re lying.

    Who’s going to rat them out? The feds?

    1. Insiders posting internal documents on Wikileaks.

  4. You know, apropos of nothing, but rectal has been trolling grylliade lately.

    1. Please email me with details. I haven’t checked in over there in a while.

      1. It’s all very restrained, to be honest.

    2. They fucking deserve it.

      1. They seem nice to me.

  5. Also, Shackford, any link to TVTropes marks you forever as a complete tool. Sorry to have to be the one to tell you.

    1. God, how gauche. Embarrassing, really.

    2. TV Tropes kicks ass. You bonobos at Reason wish you had the troper cachet.

        1. It’s like he completely doesn’t get it.

          1. TV Tropes is that annoying stoned guy who just realized that nothing in storytelling is all that original and keeps demanding you find that profound.

            1. TVTropes is the guy that tells everybody that the rest of the world calls soccer “football.”

            2. So…you?

            3. Excellent.

            4. They explicitly state that they’re not critiquing the existence or use of tropes or finding anything profound. It’s essentially a fan site for the movies/TV/books they’re talking about, whatever other information can be gleaned from the rantings of Tropers.

              1. Editor’s Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time.

                Disclaimers means there is something they find that they need to declaim.

                1. Or some spurious interlopers denigrating them unfarily.

                  1. I’m going to the unusual here and zealously defend Tulpington.

                    TV Tropes is a bushel basket full of awesome, simply put. You’re not a member of the population of “Loserville” if one either links, employs, or appreciate the coolness and succinct wisdom of the TV Trope (it’s pronounced “Tro-Pay”, and no different than the in-jokes commonly used on these here threads (The STEVE SMITH, anyone?) Ever moreso, as Fisty Knockers suggests below, plenty of TV Tropes can be applied to any member of these here threads and commentariats.

                    In fact, some of my favourite tropes (which have found their way to meatspace) are:

                    1) Getting Crap Past the Radar.

                    2) The Alleged Car (or any other noun).

                    3) Cranking it up to 11.

                    4) Unfortunate Implications.

                    5) Crowning Moment of Awesome.

                    6) Took a Level in Badass.

                    7) N-Word Privileges. (Read the trope, it doesn’t have to be just “nigger”)

                    8) Berserk Button.

                    9) Flanderization. (one every poster of which is guilty)

                    10) Face Full of Alien Wing Wong. (I will see this one in the ICD-X before I take the everlasting dirt nap).

                    Just because TV Tropes is like Chinese food in that you’re hungry an hour after eating it, a Rubik’s cube you just can’t put down, or even picking a scab you shouldn’t pick, doesn’t mean they are not the most cool and useful things on the planet. Scott was very responsible for putting a disclaimer there for that potential rabbit hole, as like Pringles, once you start you can’t stop.

    3. I enjoy TVTropes. Don’t listen to reason commenters, Shackford. They’re an idiot.

      1. This is really turning out to be a strong correlation. The only question is which way the causal arrow points. Do you read TVTropes because you’re a tool, or does reading TVTropes turn you into a tool?

        1. You are attempting to find pattern in coincidence. That’s probably a trope of some sort.

        2. Can it be both?

          1. M?bius causation? TVTroupes and toolness both occurred and caused each other simultaneously in a one sided non-orientable loop?

    4. I enjoy TVTropes although, I’m not gonna lie, it is a time vacuum.

  6. cyberpunk dystopian futures where evil megacorporations (Warning! TV Tropes link) control the government and violate our freedoms with their filthy corrupt cronyism

    Speaking of which, there seems to be a new show on syfy with THIS EXACT PREMISE. I made it about ninety seconds into it before changing the channel while simultaneously engaged in a foaming-at-the-mouth rant at the teevee.

    1. Continuum and it’s really pretty good. The people fighting the corporations are mass-murderering psychopaths and not sympathetic at all.

      Of course, it does make the mistake of not realizing that if corporations take over the functions of the state, they become the state… but I don’t expect libertarian purity at all times.

  7. Google, Yahoo Have More Respect for the Fourth Amendment Than the Feds

    When will we finally have a Bill of Rights that constrains companies instead of state agents???

  8. not sure if hotmail REQUIRES pc warrants, but everytime i’ve gotten email data etc. from them, that’s what i’ve written.

    i’ve never heard of anybody getting stuff from them with less

    1. I’ve gotten your mom from them with less.


      1. smooches!

        1. Take it outside, guys. No one wants to that.

          1. I dunno, watching dunphy and GREGOOOOOO square off would be like watching Sean Penn fight Seth McFarlane. Nobody likes either one, so it doesn’t matter if they both die.

            1. im not here to b e liked. i have as much chance of being liked as i do at stormfront. i come here to speak truth to power, with case law and the constitution on my side, and the loons to respond.

              REAL libertarians appreciate that

              1. Defensive declaration that you’re above it all? Check.
                Not-so-subtle implication that people who disagree with you are Nazis? Check.
                Wildly overestimated sense of self-importance? Check (with a bonus lack of self-awareness concerning your day job).
                No True Scotsman fallacy? Check.

                Well sir, it looks like your application to join the Lawr and Odor Libertarians is all in order. We only have one size tee-shirt, and you WILL fit into it.

                1. sophistry and personal attacks?


                  1. I’m mostly on your side, dude, but please stop spamming the threads with copy-paste court decisions. A link is sufficient.

              2. Actually, Dunphy, you have a very good chance at being liked here. Support the cause, and see how that works out for you.

                You can’t be a Libertarian just by saying that you support legalization of MJ. It’s a lot deeper than that.

                I, myself, have been pretty fair to you here, not that you appreciate it, but it is what it is.

                1. I have to go a little more in depth here….

                  You have to understand, that cops have given themselves a very bad name in this country. No knock raids resulting in wrongful death, the epidemic of pet murders. Come on, man, look at this outside of your box. It’s easy to get offended when you are being personally attacked. But just stand at a distance for a while and look at it from that perspective. If you will.

                  It’s no different from folks who cannot comprehend that we are wrong on foreign policy. Libertarians think outside the box, we try to see things from all angles.

              3. You’re not liked because you are a fascist tool of the police state who usually only worms out of the woodwork to provide defense to indefensible actions.

                You can’t “speak truth to power” if you are the power dipshit.

  9. OT: U.S. judge rules government cannot seize family-owned motel


    The ruling “is a huge win for property owners everywhere,” said Darpana Sheth, an attorney with the Institute for Justice, in Arlington, Virginia, a libertarian law firm that represented the motel with local counsel.


    1. Wait here just a minute….

      What sort of name is that, Darpana? Is that Indian?

      Well, if so, mister, he can’t be involved with a Libertarian cause. Everyone knows that all stupid fureners vote Democrat, because, well because they are stupid!

      So, we know this story isn’t true. Stop posting lies here, you imposter.

      1. Darpana is a she.

  10. Ryan. if you think Douglas`s posting is nice… yesterday I bought Chrysler after having earned $4828 this-last/month and just over 10 grand last munth. with-out any question its the nicest job I have ever had. I began this six months/ago and pretty much straight away startad bringin home over $80 per/hr. I went to this site……..

    1. This is not news. Chrysler has been run by robots for a long time.

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