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Yahoo's Mayer doesn't want to go to jail for treason over NSA scandalAt TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer explains how Yahoo is dealing with government surveillance requests, why she doesn't like phone passcodes, and what the heck happened with the new logo.
-I'm proud to be part of an organization that from the very beginning in 2007 with the NSA and FISA and PRISM has been skeptical of and has been scrutinizing those requests. In 2007, Yahoo filed a lawsuit against the new-- the Patriot Act parts of PRISM and FISA. We fought that. We were the key plaintiff. A lot of people have wondered about that case and who it was. It was us. But-- -You lost? -We lost. -And then you came. Not you. You weren't there yet, but-- -Right. But the thing is like when you lose-- So we fought, we lost. -Yeah. -You-- If you don't comply, it's treason. -Yeah, treason. -So, rich of [unk], you know, loser. -Well, you-- Now you're going to the process of suing the government. -So now what we do is on each request, we review it, we scrutinize it, we push back on a lot. We push back on a lot of requests from local government. We push back on requests in-- you know, in terms of the NSA. We can't talk about these things. -Why? -Because they're classified. -You were at the Apple event yesterday? -Uh-huh. -And you seemed to like the fingerprint NSA scanner thing on the phone, and so why? Why would you be in favor of anything like that that can gather more information unheard of? -So, it's funny. Well, I know it's funny because I didn't realize it was a reporter. It was a somebody at the end of the venue just said like, "What did you like?" And I just said the fingerprint. -Oh. -So I didn't really know that it gotten picked up at the-- but I mean, I think what I liked about it and sort of funny because you mocked me once backstage at TechCrunch. -No. -Maybe it was on the web because Mike was making fun of me because I don't have a passcode on my phone. -Oh, yeah. -And like-- Mike was like, "Are you crazy?" And I was like, "Look, I just can't do this passcode thing like-- -Yeah. -15 times a day." And then like when I saw the fingerprinting, I was like, "Now I don't have to." -Yeah. So you-- -So I was excited about that, and I just think that like building in some these smart sensors into this model-- into the phone is really exciting. When I looked at the state of what we're doing inside the company, I have said it's going to take multiple years, and by that I mean probably 3 or more to really get the company going in the direction that we wanted to and having the growth really be at the rate that we want it to be. But for me, it's really a chain reaction of four things: hiring the right people, having them build the right products, getting that to turn into traffic because traffic ultimately leads to revenue online, and we're doing really well-- -Wait. You said four things. -and a lot is [unk]. Products-- People, products, traffic, and revenue. -Back to the logo. So, what the fuck happened here, right? -Well-- I mean, I should say that I like the way the logo turned out and I like the way that we did it. -Yeah. -To me, you know, we really pride ourselves at Yahoo as being the world's largest startup. -Yup. -Yeah. We're a big and established company. We need to be really entrepreneurial, and our attitude is to be really scrappy, and the way that we did the logo, we cupped it in-house. We didn't have someone, you know, as an external firm or a consulting firm. We didn't spend millions of dollars doing it. We did it in the way that came from a very authentic place.