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Yahoo Decides to Encrypt Web Traffic

Yahoo chief Marissa Mayer today told that the Internet firm will start encrypting data to defend users from online prying. By April of upcoming year, Yahoo will have encryption in place to keep safe information shared by users of its online properties as well as information swapped between the Internet firm's data centers, Mayer said in a blog post. Google has previously begun messing up most of the traffic at its websites as technology firms struggle with moves by US intelligence agencies to spy on what people are doing and sharing online. "As you discern, there have been a number of reports over the last six months about the US government surreptitiously accessing user data without the skills of tech companies, including Yahoo," Mayer said. "We will keep on weighing up how we can secure our users' privacy and their data." Mayer said that a more complicated encryption system will be in place at Yahoo's free Web mail service by January 8 to safe user privacy. Meanwhile, a freshly-filed lawsuit in California blames Yahoo of infringing privacy by scanning Yahoo Mail messages for information to better target marketing. The suit asks for class action status and inquires that Yahoo be ordered to pay USD 5,000 per user, or treble that amount as allowed by civil law. Yahoo Mail reportedly has about 275 million users, according to the legal filing. "Because Yahoo's revenue model is so basically reliant on advertising, and because it can amplify revenues by building more precise dossiers, it is powerfully incentivized to gather as much individual information on users no matter how sensitive or illegal," the lawsuit said. Yahoo scans incoming email messages in spite of which service senders use, according to the lawsuit filed on behalf of a California man on November 15 in federal court in the Silicon Valley city of San Jose. The agency uses super computers, linguists and code-breaking mathematicians to supervise what experts speak are the world's most influential digital espionage organization.

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