According to a recent report, Yahoo has been scanning all incoming email messages stored on its servers for sometime now. Unlike a smaller scale real time check or random scanning of stored messages, this measure goes through each and every incoming mail. The search software scans these mails for a set of characters provided by US intelligence agencies like NSA and FBI.
As per knowledgeable sources, Yahoo adopted this practice after a classified government directive was sent to them. The decision to scan all incoming emails angered some senior personnel including Yahoo’s then Chief Information Security Officer Alex Stamos. Mr. Stamos is now the head of security at Facebook. Exactly what data is handed over to the agencies is not clear at the moment.
Following this report Yahoo said in a statement, “Yahoo is a law abiding company, and complies with the laws of the United States.” This level of snooping into peoples’ personal mails is quite new and this could be the tip of the iceberg. Several other information technology companies could be employing similar tactics secretively.