Security experts recommend that you delete your Yahoo account following recent revelations on the company’s security policy.
According to a recent report from Reuters, Yahoo secretly scanned all emails that passed through its systems in compliance with a request from the U.S. government. The news comes at a difficult time for the company, and has inspired many people to delete their Yahoo accounts.
CEO gave green light without consulting security team
The report claims that Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer agreed to the government request without consulting security head Alex Stamos, who later left the company in protest. The bombshell means it’s time to finally get rid of your account.
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Some people might judge you if your email account is Yahoo. It makes little sense to maintain an account and use it when there are so many better alternatives out there.
However it is now apparent that a Yahoo account is a security liability. The company is reportedly incredibly diligent in spying on emails and passing them to the U.S. government.
Reuters claims that the company developed email scanning software that scanned user emails in secret. It worked to pass information to intelligence agencies such as the NSA, in what is a grave privacy liability.
Bombshell heaps further pressure on Yahoo
The implementation of the software reportedly inspired Yahoo’s former chief information security officer to resign. Alex Stamos now works at Facebook.
Exactly what information intelligence services were looking for is not yet known. However the incident is the first of its kind.
Instead of scanning stored emails or looking at a particular selection, the company read every single user email at the behest of the U.S. government. The program was approved by CEO Marissa Meyer and General Counsel Ron Bell.
Both figures decided not to take advice from the security department at Yahoo, who were reportedly called the “paranoids” among staff. However in May 2015 the security department discovered the program.
At first they thought it was a hack, but later found out it was company policy. One additional point is that the scanning program had a flaw that would have allowed hackers to access stored emails.
Criticism intensifies due to blanket surveillance
As the backlash against Yahoo intensifies, the company is scrambling to come up with a response. So far it has released a statement which reads: “Yahoo is a law-abiding company, and complies with the laws of the United States.”
While that may be true, it is unlikely to placate millions of users who have been sold up the river. If you want to delete your Yahoo account, it’s a simple process that you can find instructions for online.
The Yahoo email program and other incidents shows why end-to-end encryption is so important. Many activists concerned with privacy are pushing for encryption to be used on all email and messaging applications.
Andrew Crocker, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said that the Yahoo program appears “in some ways more problematic and broader” than other NSA bulk surveillance programs such as PRISM or Upstream. “It’s hard to think of an interpretation” of the Reuters report, he said, “that doesn’t mean Yahoo isn’t being asked to scan all domestic communications without a warrant” or probable cause.
According to Crocker, the report is incredibly serious. “The Fourth Amendment implications of that are pretty staggering,” Crocker said.