“Yahoo Inc last year secretly built a custom software program to search all of its customers’ incoming emails for specific information provided by U.S. intelligence officials, according to people familiar with the matter,” Joseph Menn reports for Reuters. “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,” Menn reports. “It is not known what information intelligence officials were looking for, only that they wanted Yahoo to search for a set of characters. That could mean a phrase in an email or an attachment, said the sources, who did not want to be identified. Reuters was unable to determine what data Yahoo may have handed over, if any, and if intelligence officials had approached other email providers besides Yahoo with this kind of request.”
“According to the two former employees, Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer’s decision to obey the directive roiled some senior executives and led to the June 2015 departure of Chief Information Security Officer Alex Stamos, who now holds the top security job at Facebook Inc.,” Menn reports. “Experts said it was likely that the NSA or FBI had approached other Internet companies with the same demand, since they evidently did not know what email accounts were being used by the target. The NSA usually makes requests for domestic surveillance through the FBI, so it is hard to know which agency is seeking the information.”
“Alphabet Inc’s Google and Microsoft Corp, two major U.S. email service providers, did not respond to requests for comment,” Menn reports. “Some FISA experts said Yahoo could have tried to fight last year’s directive on at least two grounds: the breadth of the demand and the necessity of writing a special program to search all customers’ emails in transit. Apple Inc made a similar argument earlier this year when it refused to create a special program to break into an encrypted iPhone used in the 2015 San Bernardino massacre.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Yahoo is a spineless failure; a shit-stain of a company; a slow-motion train wreck engineered by a Breck Girl.
Yahoo has been flopping around, gasping for air for so long, it’s no wonder that bent over immediately for some hard government overreach.
Eschew products from corporations that are known for not respecting/protecting their customers’ privacy.
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