Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) will add end-to-end encryption capabilities to all Yahoo e-mail in 2015, according to Alex Stamos, its chief information security officer (CISO) during the Black Hat USA conference in Las Vegas.
Stamos said Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) is working with Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) to create an end-to-end encryption system compatible with Gmail and make it mathematically impossible to submit the messages of users to a court.
End-to-end encryption is a standard in digital communications to provide uninterrupted protection of data between two parties exchanging communications. End-to-end encryption protects the messages of users from snooping by governments, internet service providers (ISPs) and even the e-mail service providers.
Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and other technology companies started strengthening their information security after Edward Snowden leaked the surveillance activities of the National Security Agency (NSA) online wherein it collects and analyze users data including browsing history, e-mails and social media activity through the Xkeycore system and Prism program, etc.
Earlier this year, Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) started providing SSL encryption for e-mail users after discovering that its lack of encryption allowed the NSA to access address books easier compared with other major providers. In June Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) rolled out the first version of its end-to-end encryption as a Chrome extension to provide additional security to users.
According to Stamos, Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) wants to provide Yahoo mail users with a similar end-to-end encryption. He added that the company is also working to add end-end encryption to the Yahoo mail mobile apps.
“We have to make it to clear to people it is not secret you’re emailing your priest. But the content of what you’re emailing him is secret,” said Stamos.
He added that the end-to-end encryption will not affect ability to generate revenue from advertising. According to him, “We predict no revenue impact from end-to-end encryption. “The ticket to Las Vegas that United emails you — and that we use to display Vegas ads to you — is never going to be encrypted.”
He is confident that Yahoo! Inc (NASDAQ:YHOO) is capable of protecting the messages of users.
Yahoo! Inc (NASDAQ:YHOO) hired Yan Zhu, a technologist from Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to help in the project.