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Yahoo tries legal pirouettes in court, breaks neck

Evan Schuman | June 3, 2015
One of the company’s arguments: Yahoo Mail customers should notify anyone who emails them that any email they send to the customer could be scanned by Yahoo — presumably including the original email already sent before the customer could warn the sender. And that argument didn’t work?

Yahoo also argued that non-Yahoo-mail-using people have simple options to avoid having their data scanned. "Yahoo asserts that Plaintiffs could contact Yahoo Mail subscribers via phone, fax, or email addresses provided by Yahoo's competitors," the judge wrote in her decision. "Yahoo appears to be arguing that Plaintiffs are not required, either by necessity or convenience, to consent to Yahoo's interceptions and disclosures because Plaintiffs can communicate with Yahoo Mail subscribers via other means. This argument places Plaintiffs in the same Catch-22 position referenced above. As discussed above, the Court finds Yahoo's argument unpersuasive."

Yahoo, you're suggesting that in 2015 consumers could instead fax friends or colleagues who use Yahoo Mail? Really? Or just pick up the phone to call them? Sure, that's not an unnecessary burden.

But my absolute favorite is that they could use an email address from a Yahoo competitor. To paraphrase former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, you email someone at the address they have, not the address you might want them to have. You email people at the address they gave you. What is stunning here is that this is an email company that made that argument.


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