Yahoo is trapping users who want to leave its service in wake of the massive hack
If you are a Yahoo user, you will find that you can’t just leave Yahoo. Users of Yahoo’s email service are being thwarted from leaving it in favour of Google or another email service provider after the company disabled an email forwarding feature.
The news may come as a shock to users who are already reeling after Yahoo announced the massive data breach which resulted in hackers having access to 500 million users personal information and login details. It was also revealed that Yahoo agreed to scan all its users’ incoming emails on behalf of a U.S. intelligence agency in 2015.
It appears that Yahoo made the change in an attempt to prevent a mass exodus, with several users reporting that they noticed the feature that sends a copy of incoming messages from one account to another had been disabled in the wake of the spying revelations.
“This is extremely suspicious timing,” Jason Danner, a Yahoo user who has used the service for 18 years, told Associated Press. “That all this…has ceased to function when they’ve been getting a lot of press seems extremely dubious to me.”
Thousands of Yahoo users sought to exit its services after it was revealed that Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer obeyed a U.S. government directive to build secret software to scan hundreds of millions of emails. The move also caused some churning in Yahoo internally. According to the original report by Reuters, the initiative led to the departure of Alex Stamos, chief information security officer at Yahoo, in June 2015.
Yahoo has declined to comment on its decision to end email forwarding, pointing instead to a message explaining the feature’s functionality.
The message states: “This feature is under development. While we work to improve it, we’ve temporarily disabled the ability to turn on Mail Forwarding for new forwarding addresses. If you’ve already enabled Mail Forwarding in the past, your email will continue to forward to the address you previously configured.”