Yahoo Inc stinks.. After it has come to light the company secretly built a custom software program to search all of its customers’ incoming emails for specific information provided by U.S. intelligence officials last year.

According to people familiar with the matter, Yahoo agreed to conduct a classified U.S. government directive, scanning hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts for the NSA or FBI, said two former employees and a third person apprised of the events.

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yahoo-facebook-1Some surveillance experts said this represents the first case to surface of a U.S. Internet company agreeing to a spy agency’s demand by searching all arriving messages, as opposed to examining stored messages or scanning a small number of accounts in real time.

It is not known what information intelligence officials were looking for, only that they wanted Yahoo to search for a set of characters. That could mean a phrase in an email or an attachment, said the sources, who did not want to be identified. h/t yahoo

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Reuters was unable to determine what data Yahoo may have handed over, if any, and if intelligence officials had approached other email providers besides Yahoo with this kind of request.

Whistleblower, Edward Snowden urged all Yahoo email customers to close their accounts.

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The NSA referred questions to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which declined to comment.

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