Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer Pushes For Greater NSA Transparency

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Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) CEO Marissa Mayer is pushing back against the NSA and says she has requested that the NSA allow the company to publish details concerning all personal data requests. Speaking at the Davos 2014 global economic summit, Mayer argues that the current system is “murky” and that greater transparency regarding the relationship between personal data and the NSA is the only way to ensure the public trust.

She also made it clear she has already been pressing the U.S. government security agency to revise their policies regarding the public release of all requests for information that the NSA makes to technology companies such as Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO).

Yahoo CEO’s speech

In her well-received speech at Davos, Mayer said there were “understandable concerns” about what the NSA was looking at following the Snowden leaks. She pointed out that Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) is already permitted to publish some details of U.S. government requests for information including “how many we get and the nature” of the request.

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Mayer concluded her speech by saying the system simply needs to be more transparent. “We really want to be able to do the same thing on the NSA level,” she said. “What is murky is that people don’t know.”

Gavin Patterson speech

Gavin Patterson, the chief executive of BT (BT Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:BT) also spoke at Davos, and largely agreed with Mayer’s sentiments. In his speech, he suggested that the U.K. Parliament should consider new legislation on the issue of government security agency transparency. “Government legislation has to catch up,” Patterson said. “It is often several years behind and in this sphere it is not fit for purpose. There need to be clear guidelines on what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. It is just too murky at the moment.”

Patterson continued to say that people generally accepted that some sacrifice of privacy was necessary for public security, but the public had the right to know what the rules were.

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