Yahoo Calls Report Claiming It Snooped On Emails For U.S. Government “Misleading”

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After a report this week claimed Yahoo built a tool specially designed to help U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies eavesdrop on its email users’ conversations, the tech company has issued another, lengthier response, without flat out denying anything.

“The article is misleading. We narrowly interpret every government request for user data to minimize disclosure. The mail scanning described in the article does not exist on our systems,” a Yahoo spokesperson said.

According to former employees cited by Reuters in its report on Tuesday, the government made this request through the Yahoo legal team and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was aware of her company’s compliance with the government’s request.

Reuters’ report made it seem like the program was still active, which might be the bone Yahoo is picking now, TechCrunch notes: Yahoo’s first reply to the report was simply that it “is a law abiding company, and complies with the laws of the United States.” But while the company says in this new statement that the tool “does not exist in our systems,” Yahoo isn’t saying such a thing never existed.

While some experts say it’s likely that the government approached other email providers with a similar request, thus far Twitter, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and Google have come out saying no such thing ever happened to them, TechCrunch reported Tuesday.

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