Former Employees Say Yahoo Conducted Mass Email Search at Government Request

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SUNNYVALE, CA - JANUARY 22: The Yahoo logo is seen on a sign outside of the Yahoo Sunnyvale campus January 22, 2008 in Sunnyvale, California. Yahoo is poised to lay off hundreds of employees in hopes of increasing profits and boosting its stock price. No date is set for the layoffs but it is likely that the notice will come around January 29th when the company reports quarterly earnings. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) (Photo: Justin Sullivan)

Yahoo Inc. created a special software program last year to search hundreds of millions of email accounts at the behest of either the National Security Agency or the FBI. That's according to former employees, says Reuter's Joseph Menn, who broke the story. Yahoo's reported compliance comes amid ongoing tensions between tech companies and the federal government over data encryption and mass surveillance. Meanwhile, Yahoo released a statement saying the "the mail scanning described in the article does not exist" on their systems. Menn joins us to talk about his reporting and how the tech community is responding.


Joseph Menn, technology projects reporter, Reuters; author, "Fatal System Error: The Hunt for the New Crime Lords Who are Bringing Down the Internet"