According to Reuters, Yahoo has allegedly scanned customer emails for US intelligence purposes at the request of US intelligence agencies.
According to reports, in 2015 Yahoo secretly built a custom software program allowing it to search all of its customers’ incoming emails for specific information requested by US intelligence officials.
In the Schrems judgment, the Safe Harbour programme allowing EU personal data to be transferred to the US was declared invalid, among other reasons because of the mass surveillance protocols used by US intelligence services.
Reuters report that it is not known what information intelligence officials were looking for, only that they wanted Yahoo to search for a set of characters. That could mean a phrase in an email or an attachment.
“Yahoo is a law abiding company, and complies with the laws of the United States”
the company said in a brief statement response to Reuters’ questions about the demand. Yahoo declined any further comment.
When questioned by reporters, the NSA referred questions to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which declined to comment.
Alphabet Inc’s Google and Microsoft Corp, two major U.S. email service providers, separately said on Tuesday that they had not conducted such email searches.