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What do ISPs charge the law to spy on you?


Cryptome is hosting several ISPs’ pricelists and guidelines for “lawful spying” activities on behalf of law enforcement. Included is Yahoo’s price-guide (hilariously, Yahoo tried to send them a copyright takedown notice to make this go away).

One of the more remarkable elements of Yahoo’s document is the sheer quantity of material that Yahoo retains for very, very long periods. “IP logs last for one year, but the original IPs used to create accounts have been kept since 1999. The contents of your Yahoo account are bought for $30 to $40 by law enforcement agencies.”

Yahoo! will seek reimbursement based on the actual time expended by Yahoo!’s compliance staff in complying with the request. yahoo legal spyingThe average costs related to compliance matters are listed below for your convenience. These estimates are neither a ceiling nor a floor but represent the average costs of typical searches. Time spent may vary considerably based on the wording of the request and the information available about the user. These time estimates are also based on narrowly tailored requests that do not require extensive searches in multiple databases. These estimates are not price quotes, budgets, or guarantees and should not be used for budgeting purposes. Yahoo! reserves the right to adjust its estimates and reimbursement charges as necessary.

  • Basic subscriber records: approx. $20 for the first ID, $10 per ID thereafter
  • Basic Group Information (including information about moderators): approx. $20 for a group with a single moderator
  • Contents of subscriber accounts, including email: approx. $30-$40 per user
  • Contents of Groups: approx. $40 – $80 per group


Yahoo Lawful Spying Guide

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One Response to “What do ISPs charge the law to spy on you?”

  1. Todd Delafuente says:

    Really cool I adore the various articles which have been written, and especially the comments posted! I will definately be visiting again!

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