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Report: Yahoo secretly scanned customer emails for U.S. intelligence

     
6:08 pm on Oct 4, 2016 (gmt 0)

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According to a report on Reuters, Yahoo had built a system to secretly scan all of its customer emails for U.S. intelligence agency, say people familiar with the matter.

The company complied with a classified U.S. government directive, scanning hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts at the behest of the National Security Agency or FBI, said two former employees and a third person apprised of the events.

Some surveillance experts said this represents the first case to surface of a U.S. Internet company agreeing to a spy agency's demand by searching all arriving messages, as opposed to examining stored messages or scanning a small number of accounts in real time. Report: Yahoo secretly scanned customer emails for U.S. intelligence [reuters.com]
7:27 pm on Oct 4, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Then they scanned a lot of spam :)
11:09 pm on Oct 4, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Many are saying that if you value privacy this is the time to close your Yahoo account [help.yahoo.com].
11:15 pm on Oct 4, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I tried to close my Yahoo account months ago and got a prompt that I would be removing all my Yahoo information, including listings at Yahoo Local Businesses in search.
11:52 am on Oct 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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It seems others are quick to deny scanning e-mails.

Big technology companies, including Google, Microsoft Corp., Twitter Inc. and Facebook Inc. denied scanning incoming user emails on behalf of the U.S. government, following a report that Yahoo Inc. had built such a system. Tech Firms Deny Scanning Emails for U.S. Government [wsj.com]


It's not been confirmed, and I wonder if we'll ever know for sure whether Yahoo cooperated in this way. It's not good PR, what with Yahoo in the midst of an acquisition.
12:01 pm on Oct 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Yahoo has always admitted they scan incoming and outgoing email for data used in ad targetting. It's in their ToS.