Time to quit Yahoo? Site reportedly spied on emails for US governmentAn unsettling report says Yahoo complied with government requests to scan all incoming user emails, and even wrote a special program to do so. Between this news and the massive data breach, how can consumers trust Yahoo with their privacy?
It's time to ditch your Yahoo account. Yahoo reportedly has been spying on it's users emails, and even wrote a special program for the US government to scan through messages. That alarming report comes from Reuters, citing four people aware of the email scanning program, the report says Yahoo built this spy software last year, and it was designed to search all incoming emails for specific information at the request of the National Security Agency or the FBI. If this is true, this would be the The first time an internet company agreed to such a request from an intelligence agency by building a program to scan all incoming mail in real time as opposed to just looking at stored messages or scanning select accounts. Yahoo is not confirming or denying the report, only saying that it Complies with the law. Reuters reports that when Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer chose to obey the request instead of fighting it, her Chief Information Security Officer quit the company. Of course, this is in contrast to Apple's fight with the FBI earlier this year. When it refused a request to create a program to break into an encrypted iPhone. So why didn't Yahoo fight back? Well, back in 2007, Yahoo did fight back against the government's requests and lost. Reuters reported that Yahoo thought it would lose again, and it wasn't worth the fight. Representatives from Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Apple all said they never received such a request from US intelligence, and if they did, they would fight it. Microsoft also said it never scanned emails in this manner. A problem is that, these government requests had gag orders, prohibiting the companies involved from revealing to the public that they got the request. So, if this [UNKNOWN] report is accurate, it is likely that the government did ask other tech companies to scan user messages. Yahoo! is still recovering from the world's largest data breach. Losing info on half a billion Yahoo! users. It happened in 2014, but it was just revealed this month. And between the hack and this unsettling surveillance news, hard to imagine Verizon still wants to buy Yahoo with all that baggage. And hard to imagine how anyone could still trust Yahoo with their privacy. That's it for this tech news update, I'm Bridget Carey. You can stay on top of the biggest stories at cnet.com/update.