Yahoo secretly scanned customer emails for US intelligence


Apparently, in 2015, Yahoo Inc secretly built a custom software program to search all of its customers' incoming e-mails for specific information provided by US intelligence officials. The company complied with a classified US government demand, scanning hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts at the behest of the National Security Agency or FBI, said three former employees and a fourth person apprised of the events.

Some surveillance experts said this represents the first case to surface of a US Internet company agreeing to a spy agency's request by searching all arriving messages, as opposed to examining stored messages or scanning a small number of accounts in real time. 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 e-mail or an attachment, apparently. Apparently, 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.

Yahoo secretly scanned customer emails for US intelligence ACLU blasts Yahoo's secret email searches for government (The Hill) Delete Your Yahoo Account (The Intercept)