Yahoo secretly created and developed new custom software to spy on people’s emails, according to Reuters. While Yahoo isn’t the only corporation to turn over information to government surveillance, it’s the very first time that authorities have required mass spying on the emails of customers.
The new software was uncovered by the Yahoo security team in 2015, says an exclusive report in Reuters. Originally, they believed that hackers broke into the system illegally. Marissa Ann Mayer, Chief Executive Officer of Yahoo, had authorized the program, much to the dismay of Chief Security Officer, Alex Stamos.
Stamos, publically opposed to surveillance programs on the internet, resigned his post upon hearing of the news.
Edward Snowden, former CIA employee and computer professional, who leaked government information about spy programs, tweeted on his Twitter account: “Use @Yahoo? They secretly scanned everything you wrote, far beyond what law requires. Close your account today.”
Under a 2008 amendment laws to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the FBI and NSA can request information from American phone and internet services. This year, Apple was the standout company that refused to provide customer information to the government. With heavy social unrest in the United States as a result of protests, no telling what intelligence operatives were specifically digging through emails for and why.