Yahoo on Monday vowed to do more to protect user data in the midst of numerous reports over the last six months about the US government secretly accessing such information from tech companies without their knowledge or permission.
In a blog post on the matter, CEO Marissa Mayer reiterated the fact that her company has never given access to their data centers to the NSA or any other government agency. She pointed out there was nothing more important than protecting users’ privacy and to that end, she is extending the recently announced https (SSL – Secure Sockets Layer) encryption with a 2048-bit key for Yahoo Mail across all Yahoo products.
The tentative plan is to encrypt all information that moves between their data centers by the end of Q1 2014, offer users an option to encrypt all data flow to/from Yahoo by the end of Q1 2014 and work closely with their international Mail partners to ensure co-branded accounts are also https-enabled.
If you recall, Yahoo announced plans to beef up security on Yahoo Mail last month. The company went public with those plans on the same day the Washington Post revealed the NSA has collected hundreds of thousands of contact lists from e-mail and IM users around the globe as part of an anti-terrorism efforts. Yahoo said e-mail encryption efforts are expected to go live by January 8, 2014.
More recent NSA leaks from whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal the agency has infiltrated links between data centers of major Internet companies including Google and Yahoo to siphon data as part of a project known as Muscular.