Black Friday

Yahoo beefs up its defences against the NSA

Douglas Crawford

Douglas Crawford

April 4, 2014

In November last year it was revealed by Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing documents that Yahoo, along with Google, had been a target of NSA hacking of its internal data communications lines.

This week, Yahoo’s newly appointed Chief Information Security Officer, Alex Stamos, announced that the company has implemented a raft of NSA busting encryption measures, with more to come,

When I joined Yahoo four weeks ago, we were in the middle of a massive project to protect our users and their data through the deployment of encryption technologies… Hundreds of Yahoos have been working around the clock over the last several months to provide a more secure experience for our users and we want to do even more moving forward. Our goal is to encrypt our entire platform for all users at all time, by default.

Current improvements include that (as of March 31) all data moving between data centers is now fully encrypted, and https is enabled by default for all search queries and for Yahoo Mail.  Additionally, most Yahoo services, such as Yahoo News, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Finance, and Good Morning America on Yahoo (, can used encrypted by entering ‘https’ before the URL  when initiating a session.

Over the coming months, Yahoo intends to deploy an encrypted version of Yahoo Messenger, as well as implementing additional security measures such as HSTS, Perfect Forward Secrecy and Certificate Transparency.

This is all great news, and we hope that more tech companies follow Yahoo’s lead, something Stamos himself is keen to make happen,

One of our biggest areas of focus in the coming months is to work with and encourage thousands of our partners across all of Yahoo’s hundreds of global properties to make sure that any data that is running on our network is secure. Our broader mission is to not only make Yahoo secure, but improve the security of the overall web ecosystem.

Douglas Crawford

I am a freelance writer, technology enthusiast, and lover of life who enjoys spinning words and sharing knowledge for a living. You can now follow me on Twitter - @douglasjcrawf.

One response to “Yahoo beefs up its defences against the NSA

  1. encryption… surely not to protect the content from the NSA. Sounds like more gas escaping… like the last big release when all the big data miners and data movers professed that they DID NOT and WOULD NOT provide the NSA with a “Back Door” into their pipelines. They don’t need to provide a ‘back door’. Since 1996 any Telecommunications type company that moves data has to, by law, install a “Tap” in their pipe or pipes that the NSA can (and they do) capture in real time every bit of data coming and going. there is nothing ‘back door’ about a tap. When you install a service tap on a refrigeration line to add freon it’s right out in the open so it’s easy to get to. They are capturing every 1 and 0 that’s being sent and received and then storing it in places like the facility in Utah. Then, 12 years from now if need be they can examine what you did/said 2 weeks ago. Local Law Enforcement can/has been capturing up to 12,000 license plates with the date/time/location through the dash-cams per car, per 8 hour shift. All patrol units are running the software. That is a whole lot of of knowing what a whole lot of people are doing or did. Maybe 20 years from now when Alzheimer’s is kicking my ass somebody can tell me where I’ve been, what i was doing and when i was doing it and more importantly, where my pants are.


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