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Yahoo is now the second major tech influencer to actively support email privacy. At Black Hat USA, the multifaceted tech giant recently announced to roll-out an encryption tool for its email service by 2015. Borrowing from Google’s tech, the update aims to give willing Yahoo Mail users ultimate privacy when conversing with one another, whether good or bad.
To stamp out controversial issues highlighted by NSA voyeurism and the like, online privacy has been at the forefront of popular debate ever since the web was born, and blew up after the Edward Snowden debacle last year.
The move requires both email sender and receiver to have the encryption tool installed, and would further help empower Yahoo Mail users and earn trust.
A few months ago, Google gave us a glimpse of its new End-to-End email encryption plugin for Chrome. While many users are already relying on other techniques and tools such as SSL encryption, DIY end-to-end solutions prove to be much more difficult.
As reported by the Washington Post, Electronic Frontier Foundation technologist Yan Zhu says such an implementation would be extremely welcome to Yahoo. In effect, email encryption would give Yahoo Mail an edge over other email providers such as Hotmail and Outlook, and bring it on par with one of its top competitors, namely Gmail.
A Transparency Report by Google highlights that Yahoo, together with Twitter and Facebook, were among the top domains that’s been supporting encryption services over the last year.
Interestingly, while email encryption techniques might strengthen user privacy from governments, internet service providers, and hackers of all coats, it will always be limited. By automatically sifting and identifying through all emails on Gmail, Google recently managed to identify child pornography images from one of its users. The colourful tech giant then notified the authorities.