Yahoo terse about spying allegation; others deny involvement

After news broke that the company built custom software to look at its users’ incoming email, Google and other online organizations issued statements opposing the action.

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On Tuesday, Reuters reported that Yahoo built a software program to search its customers’ incoming emails. The program allegedly was developed last year after a classified demand from either the National Security Agency or the FBI.

Reuters said that its sources told the publication that the agencies asked Yahoo to search for a “set of characters”—which could mean a phrase found in the body of an email or in an attachment.

Reuters wasn’t able to confirm whether other internet companies have received similar requests, but it reported that Yahoo’s decision to comply was made by its chief executive, Marissa Mayer. The decision allegedly caused internal discord.

CNet explained:

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