Yahoo blocks emails about Wall Street protest

By , ITworld |  Security, Yahoo, E-mail

Wall Street protests

Protesters demonstrate outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) September 21, 2011. Protesters marched to Wall Street on the fourth day of protests as they call for action against big businesses and politics.

REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Ready for conspiracy theories? Folks emailing information about the Wall Street protests on Monday using Yahoo discovered their emails failed, and received a message from Yahoo claiming "suspicious activity." Does that sound suspicious?

ThinkProgress.org has perhaps the best coverage, including a YouTube video of users trying to send emails that mention the "OccupyWallSt.org" web site. That seemed to be the magic phrase to get your email blocked.

Yahoo spokespeople claim it was a glitch, a mistake, unintentional, and they don't know how their spam filters became so sensitive. Via Twitter, Yahoo announced the blockage was now fixed, but "there may be residual delays." There will certainly be some residual questions. But remember, censorship requires a government entity squelching speech, not an email provider.

Big Brother

I'm usually skeptical of evil-government conspiracy theories but if you are awake to what's happening, you can clearly see the creation of a fascist state.
Daniel Fitzsimmons on thinkprogress.org

This was just a rehearsal for the major repression that is coming. Just kidding... I hope.
twsmith29356 on cbsnews.com

So they can't block 10,000 emails about ***** enlargement or illegal drugs, but they can "accidentally" block a couple of dozen about corrupt financiers. Sure, that's an accident, all right.
dumbspammers on cnet.com

@ 3:24 pm Eastern time we tried to send a message with the link and got the same "Suspicious activity has been detected on your account" message. Talk about suspicious activity!
Carrie Stone on thinkprogress.org

It's a Rollerball world

Just think, once the U.S. Postal Service goes under, all communications will be electronic and subject to private corporate censorship. Welcome to the United Corporations of America.
Mike Irwin on thinkprogress.org

Oh snap, now we have to be leary about our email being spied on by Warren Buffett or Homeland Defense using that illegal Patriot act.
Overruled1 on cbsnews.com

This should be ample illustration to any organization involved in public affairs to NOT try to leverage mail platforms like Yahoo's (or, for that matter, Google, Hotmail, etc.). Yeah, you can leverage good tools, but you open yourself up to systemic "editing".
ferricoxide on cnet.com

Just a mistake

Hopefully, this is just because there are so many messages suddenly with the phrase "Occupy Wall Street” that an automated Spam filter went up, and no person made a decision to flag that phrase.
Eric Jaffa on thinkprogress.org

This is bordering on paranoia. I work closely with Yahoo and other email systems, and can tell you with 99% certainty that these detections are algorithmic and content-agnostic - they don't care one way or another what the content may be, or even what language it's in.
Evan Burke on thinkprogress.com

Anyway, my other question would be if Yahoo uses a URL filtering list of bad web sites from some thirdparty, or if they statistically analyze newly seen URLs and start blocking after a certain threshold incase of a new spamming campaign using compromised accounts.
malynj on cnet.com

Vote now: is Yahoo a puppet of the establishment blocking a protest movement against Wall Street, or incompetent? (Puppet/Incompetent)

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