The CEOs of Yahoo and Facebook were each on the hot seat Wednesday answering questions about the U.S. government’s data surveillance programs.
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, in an on-stage interview at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco, said she couldn’t say more about the programs than Yahoo already has because doing so could be “treason.”
Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft all filed petitions Monday with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, as part of a renewed effort to reveal more information about government data requests.
The companies had already petitioned the U.S. government to let them be more specific in reporting the volume of national security-related requests they receive, following the first leaks in June about government surveillance programs such as Prism.
The companies said Monday they are pushing harder now because those previous efforts did not pay off.
"We want to be really, really clear that whenever you give us information, we're going to take it."
These aren't the words of some suede-shoed government spy, trying to put an honest face on an inherently sneaky job.
After a review on the language changes to its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and Data Use policy, Facebook could decide to go back to the drawing board.
Security researcher Arul Kumar was paid $12,500 by Facebook, after discovering and reporting a bug that would allow any user to delete the photos of other Facebook users, simply by changing parameters in a URL.
The severity of the security flaw apparently induced Facebook to pay Kumar far more than the base bounty of $500 for bugs reported through the website’s white hat security program.