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For Immediate Release

Press Release

Reaction to Yahoo Email Scans

WASHINGTON -

In response to reports that Yahoo secretly scanned customer emails for US intelligence Sherif Elsayed-Ali, Head of Technology and Human Rights at Amnesty International said:

"If true, this news will greatly undermine trust in the internet. For a company to secretly search all incoming emails of all its customers in response to a broad government directive would be a blow to privacy and a serious threat to freedom of expression.

 "Tech companies want us to believe that they are pushing back against intrusive government surveillance but these reports could cast their ability to do so - if not their willingness - into doubt.

 “If true, this would demonstrate the failure of US government reforms to curb NSA’s tendency to try and indiscriminately vacuum up the world’s data. The NSA has clearly not changed its spots. This is a clear sign that people can trust neither their government nor their service providers to respect their privacy: only end-to-end encryption that keeps their communications away from prying eyes will do. Free speech online, and in society in general, cannot thrive in a world where governments can pry into our private lives at will.”

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Amnesty International is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights for all. Our supporters are outraged by human rights abuses but inspired by hope for a better world - so we work to improve human rights through campaigning and international solidarity. We have more than 2.2 million members and subscribers in more than 150 countries and regions and we coordinate this support to act for justice on a wide range of issues.

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