INTERNET PORTAL Yahoo's CEO has revealed that the firm risked seeing its executives sent to jail when it began talking about PRISM and NSA communications snooping.
Mayer was speaking at the Techcrunch Disrupt event when she was asked why Yahoo did not just come out and reveal national security related data requests. She gave a simple answer, saying that the result of doing that could have been boilersuits and no belts.
"Releasing classified information is treason and you are incarcerated," she said, according to the Guardian newspaper.
Mayer added that Yahoo, which recently released its first transparency report without revealing national security related requests, was sceptical about some government motives.
She said that she is "proud to be part of an organisation that from the beginning, in 2007, has been sceptical of - and has been scrutinizing - those requests [from the NSA]".
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also popped up at the event and expressed some concern about the glass house that protects personal information.
He said that the government handled the fallout from the PRISM revelations very badly, saying that he thought that it "blew it".
Both Yahoo and Facebook have taken a legal approach to full disclosure and both launched legal challenges to their gag orders this week.
Yesterday Zuckerberg suggested that this was a last resort. "The government response was, 'Oh don't worry we are not spying on any Americans.' Oh wonderful, that's really helpful to companies that are trying to serve people around the world and that's really going to inspire confidence in American internet companies. I thought that was really bad," he said.
"We are not at the end of this. I wish that the government would be more proactive about communicating. We are not psyched that we had to sue in order to get this and we take it very seriously," he said. µ
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