A Reuters report suggests that Internet company Yahoo has been working with U.S. intelligence to search all customer emails.
According to the report, Yahoo created a software that would scan all emails automatically at the request of U.S. intelligence even before they arrived in the user's inbox.
Reuters mentions that it received the information from several Yahoo employees.
Yahoo did receive a "classified U.S. government demand" according to Reuters which was one of the broadest if not the broadest in scope up to that day considering that it involved the scanning of hundreds of million of email accounts.
The demand stands in stark contrast to previous demands where companies were asked to scan a small number of accounts or hand over stored messages of an account.
No one knows how much data was made available to the -- unnamed -- U.S. intelligence service, and whether other email providers were approached as well.
While the details on the cooperation between Yahoo and U.S. intelligence are scarce, Yahoo customers may want to consider deleting their Yahoo account because of that privacy violation and the resulting lack of trust in the company.
There is at least one step to the process, but if you want to keep your email there is two.
First thing you may want to do is back up all old Yahoo emails. If you don't need those anymore you may skip the step, but usually you may want to keep access.
On Gmail, you would open the settings, switch to "accounts and import" and click on the "import mail and contacts" link on that page. You need to supply your Yahoo account credentials to start the import, but everything else is handled by Google from that point on.
Mail backup software like Mailstore Home, free for personal use, offers another option that is not restricted to individual providers.
You do need to enable pop access on Yahoo first though before you can start using the software. Once that is out of the way, it is simply a matter of performing the following steps in the program:
Mailstore Home backs up all emails to the local system. You may use the program to search the emails, or to export them to another service, for instance an email client that you run on the local system.
You may want to consider keeping the account alive for some time after migrating the emails to another provider or backing them up. It usually takes some time to update emails at services that you use on the Internet, privately or for work.
Keeping the account activated during that time ensures that you don't miss out on any of those.
Once you are certain that this is no longer necessary, you may visit the Yahoo account deletion page.
You are asked to sign in to the account, and asked to enter the account password and a captcha on the page afterwards.
Click on the "terminate this account" button to permanently delete the Yahoo account and be done with it once and for all.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.