Marissa Mayer was on stage on Wednesday at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference when Michael Arrington asked her about NSA snooping.
He wanted to know what would happen if Yahoo just didn’t cooperate. He wanted to know what would happen if she were to simply talk about what was happening, even though the government had forbidden it.
“Releasing classified information is treason. It generally lands you incarcerated,” she said, clearly uncomfortable with the turn of the conversation.
She also explained that when the government comes calling wanting information on Yahoo users, the company scrutinizes each request and “we push back a lot on requests.” But “we can’t talk about those things because they’re classified,” she said.
This has been going on long before her reign, too, she said:
“I’m proud to be part of an organisation that from the very beginning in 2007, with the NSA and FISA and PRISM, has been sceptical and has scrutinized those requests. In 2007 Yahoo filed a lawsuit against the new Patriot Act, parts of PRISM and FISA, we were the key plaintiff. A lot of people have wondered about that case and who it was. It was us … we lost. The thing is, we lost and if you don’t comply it’s treason.”