Sam Biddle of the Intercept asked EFF attorney Andrew Crocker what he thought of the all-encompassing directive served to Yahoo:
Crocker said the Yahoo program seems “in some ways more problematic and broader” than previously revealed NSA bulk surveillance programs like PRISM or Upstream collection efforts. “It’s hard to think of an interpretation” of the Reuters report, he explained, “that doesn’t mean Yahoo isn’t being asked to scan all domestic communications without a warrant” or probable cause.
Biddle also asked other major tech companies if they had been subjected to a similar directive. Responses are still coming in, but this one from Twitter is pretty telling:
Asked whether Twitter had ever received such a directive aimed at its messaging system, Nu Wexler, the company’s public policy communications chief, replied that “Federal law prohibits us from answering your question, and we’re currently suing the Justice Department for the ability to disclose more information about government requests.”
Only Microsoft issued an outright denial on the record, while Apple quoted a previously-issued statement. Google, Yahoo, and others have yet to respond.
Update: Google says they’ve never received a similar request.