Yahoo!'s headquarters

Yahoo! to encrypt data from next year

Yahoo! has pledged to encrypt all user information moving between its data centres by the end of the first quarter of next year.

The move is prompted by revelations in the Washington Post last month that the US National Security Agency (NSA), working with its British counterpart, GCHQ, had broken into fibre optic cables that carry the transfer of data around the world for Google and Yahoo.

In a statement on the firm’s Tumblr account chief executive Marissa Mayer vowed to encrypt all information that moves between the firms data centres as well as offering  users an option to encrypt all data flow to and from Yahoo by the end of the first quarter of 2014.

“We’ve worked hard over the years to earn our users’ trust and we fight hard to preserve it,” she said. “As you know, there have been a number of reports over the last six months about the US government secretly accessing user data without the knowledge of tech companies, including Yahoo!

“I want to reiterate what we have said in the past: Yahoo! has never given access to our data centres to the NSA or to any other government agency. Ever.”

The firm had already announced that it will be encrypting all email communications on its Yahoo Mail service by introducing https (SSL - Secure Sockets Layer) encryption with a 2048-bit key by January 8.

But while the move may improve users’ cyber-security, reports earlier this year suggested the NSA has secretly developed the ability to crack or circumvent commonplace Internet encryption.

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