Yahoo Starts Data and Messenger Encryption
SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 21: Cars drive by a Yahoo billboard October 21, 2008 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Yahoo announced it will be encrypting its data and move to encrypting data in its features, namely Yahoo Messenger, according to a report.
Yahoo said it had been encrypting its data centers since March 31, but that it also plans to ad more encryption to its services such as Yahoo Messenger in the next few months. Now users can use an encrypted version of Yahoo News, Sports and Finance.
"Our goal is to encrypt our entire platform for all users at all time, by default," Alex Stamos, Yahoo's chief information security officer wrote in the company blog.
Stamos told reporters that recent reports of government monitoring spurred the company to more security measures, according to The Verge.
"The impetus for the huge push is obviously government revelations," Stamos said. "The side effect is that the protections we're putting in place protect in a lot of different scenarios."
Yahoo was one of the eight companies that called for government reforms after reports of NSA spying.
While encryption makes "spying" difficult, it doesn't make it impossible.
"It's true that if there's any individual that's being targeted by a top-tier nation state, they're probably going to find a way. But that's very different from being able to keep track of the email and browsing habits of millions of people at the same time," Stamos said. "Anything we can do to protect users from non-targeted, widespread surveillance is our duty, and that's why we're trying to do."
Yahoo is doing what it needs to do to protect users' information. If the company hadn't made efforts to encrypt data, it could have meant users leaving its numerous services. Other companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple have taken the security measures, so Yahoo has to do the same to stay competitive.