Yahoo built software last year that allowed the U.S. government to search all of its customers' incoming emails, according to sources who spoke confidentially to Reuters, which calls this program the first of its kind, the Slate website reports today (October 4, 2016).
Yahoo complied with a classified U.S. government directive scanning hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts at the behest of the National Security Agency (NSA) or FBI, said two former employees and a third person apprised of the events.
This represents the first case to surface of a U.S. Internet company agreeing to a spy agency's demand by searching all arriving messages, as opposed to examining stored messages or scanning a small number of accounts in real time. (Reuters did not indicate whether the government operation at Yahoo has ended or is ongoing.)
Yahoo has violated the privacy rights of millions of Americans by secretly collaborating with the National Security Agency and the FBI, thus compromising their personal information. Many lawsuits by individuals, groups, and human rights organizations -- such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) -- are expected to occur against Yahoo and the government as a result of these covert illegal acts.