Security

Yahoo to NSA: Get off my lawn, too

Image Credit: Yahoo! Inc/Flickr

Yahoo wants to keep the NSA out, just like Google.

The media company announced today that it will be rolling out heavy, 2048-bit key encryption across all of its products and covering all of Yahoo’s data center communications between servers.

The stronger security was inspired by a national security leak earlier this month that revealed the NSA directly taps Google’s and Yahoo’s servers to collect data. Neither company is pleased.

Google reacted soon after the reveals, saying it would continue updating its network to 2048-bit encryption and that it was not shocked, just angry:

“We are outraged at the lengths to which the government seems to have gone to intercept data from our private fiber networks, and it underscores the need for urgent reform,” said Google chief legal officer David Drummond in a statement.

The data collect program is called Muscular and involves tapping the fiber optic cables that connect Google’s and Yahoo’s internal data centers.

The reports were a slap in the face to the two companies because of the NSA’s reported front-end relationship with the tech giants. The PRISM scandal in June of this year revealed that the NSA works directly with Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and others to collect user data through what these companies claim are “legal” means (i.e. subpoenas).

Yahoo and Google maintain they have not otherwise given the NSA direct access to their servers. Perhaps that’s true as the intelligence agency seems to be going around the companies’ security teams to get that near-direct access itself.

Yahoo says it will have the new encryption set up by the end of the first quarter in 2014. This will include encrypting all network flows between its data centers and giving users the option to protect their data being sent to and from Yahoo.


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