Apr 22

In a high profile court case fought between the U.S Justice Department and the widely used email providers – Yahoo, the Obama administration abruptly abandoned its request to read the email messages of all Yahoo users without a search warrant. In its two page brief request filed this Friday, the administration explained its withdrawal from the court case hence abandoning the case completely.

Ever since the case was lodged, Yahoo had been strongly defending the request made by the federal prosecutors. However, it was able to attract a list of allies such as Google, Center for Democracy and Technology, Electronic Frontier foundation, Progress and Freedom Foundation, etc. which hence strengthened Yahoo’s base in the case. Nearly two years ago, President Obama, then a presidential candidate had pledged of strengthening the digital privacy on the web. This dispute had the potential of checking the commitment of his administration which hence became an issue of legislative push that was backed by the Silicon Valley privacy advocates. As a result, the administration has taken up its position even in the odds that the merger also involved the warrantless tracking of mobile phones.

Despite the two page brief submitted to the court, the information regarding the federal court held in Colorado is not quite clear. However certain things remain unclear that includes the nature of the crime that is being investigated, the number of email accounts at stake and also reason that prompted the Attorney’s office to back off at the last minute. Was it the publicity that the case gained in the recent days due to the merger of Yahoo and its growing allies? There are several questions that are still not clear. The brief also stated that Yahoo had turned up more information and hence more information by the company could not help the investigation made by the government.

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