Yahoo calls report of secret email scanning 'misleading'

Yahoo calls report of secret email scanning 'misleading'
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Yahoo is firing back at a report that accused the tech company of scanning customers' emails for U.S. intelligence agencies, calling it "misleading."

“We narrowly interpret every government request for user data to minimize disclosure. The mail scanning described in the article does not exist on our systems,” Yahoo said in an emailed statement to reporters Wednesday.


Reuters in a report Tuesday claimed that Yahoo, at the request of authorities, had designed custom software to scan all of its users’ emails for information of interest to U.S. intelligence agencies.

In the past, Yahoo had challenged orders for customer data, including in 2007 when the company fought and lost a directive to search customer accounts without a warrant.

But this time, Yahoo did not challenge the data request, sparking division at the company. Reuters reported that the company's chief security officer at the time did not know about the alleged email scanning and left the firm once his team discovered it.

Yahoo's statement also did not address the extent to which it has turned over any user data to authorities of it the company took any steps to challenge the information requests.

The report about Yahoo's email scanning sparked anger from privacy advocates. The American Civil Liberties Union and several lawmakers on Tuesday said if the report was true it would be likely unconstitutional and violate the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.