According to Reuters, Yahoo received a directive from the National Security Agency of the United States to build a custom software that will auto-scan email content for the NSA and/or the FBI.
Reuters further revealed that the directive was intended to be carried out in a way that targets specific strings of characters in emails. Although, the specific strings were not mentioned but it was reported by former employees of the company that Yahoo accepted the request and has since then been snooping on its users.
As mentioned earlier, the report was made known by some former employees of the company and if that report is something to go by, Yahoo might have been breaching the trust the customers had in it services regards privacy.
However, other big technology companies have quickly moved to condemn Yahoo's action here
Twitter said, “We’ve never received a request like this, and were we to receive it we’d challenge it in court.” Microsoft also insisted, “We have never engaged in the secret scanning of email traffic like what has been reported today about Yahoo.” Apple made it clear, “We have never received a request of this type. If we were to receive one, we would oppose it in court.” Facebook also followed suit saying, “Facebook has never received a request like the one described in these news reports from any government, and if we did we would fight it.” And Google stated that, “We’ve never received such a request, but if we did, our response would be simple: ‘no way’.”
Based on the response of these companies, one would believe that Yahoo might have complied with a request that almost every other related tech company would have turned down.
All the same, we will all be awaiting Yahoo's response to these reports as it could lead to serious trust issues between customers and the company.
Do you have a Yahoo Mail account? What do you think about this Yahoo's secret scan of customer Emails for US Intelligence? Let us have your opinions via comments.