Nick Hopkins reports:
Theresa May summoned the internet giant Yahoo for an urgent meeting on Thursday to raise security concerns after the company announced plans to move to Dublin where it is beyond the reach of Britain’s surveillance laws.
By making the Irish capital rather than London the centre of its European, Middle East and Africa operations, Yahoo cannot be forced to hand over information demanded by Scotland Yard and the intelligence agencies through “warrants” issued under Britain’s controversial anti-terror laws.
In February, the Guardian revealed that Britain’s eavesdropping centre GCHQ intercepted and stored the images of millions of people using Yahoo webcams, regardless of whether they were suspects. The data included a large quantity of sexually explicit pictures.
Read more on The Guardian.
While the disclosure of GCHQ surveillance was certainly concerning to Yahoo, the fact is – and as the Guardian report acknowledges – that Yahoo had already decided to move its corporate headquarters in EU to Ireland well before the Guardian’s disclosure of GCHQ interception of images. I had even reported on this blog about the email I received from Yahoo! UK at the beginning of February, announcing the move.
So why should Yahoo give a damn about the UK’s security worries just because Theresa May asks for a meeting? Short answer: they shouldn’t.