The Edmond Sun

Business

October 16, 2013

Yahoo to make SSL encryption the default for Web mail

WASHINGTON — Yahoo will encrypt Web-based email by default for all of its users beginning Jan. 8, the company has told The Washington Post.

"Yahoo takes the security of our users very seriously," the company said in an emailed statement Monday. Yahoo began offering users the option to use the SSL encryption standard this year. The option "encrypts your mail as it moves between your browser and Yahoo's servers," the company said.

SSL is the standard for Internet encryption and helps protect communications from third-party snooping. The encryption is widely believed to make it harder for the National Security Agency to spy on online activities.

Yahoo has lagged behind its major competitors in offering encryption for its Web mail service. Google offered SSL as an option for its Web-based Gmail in July 2008 and made it the default for users in early 2010. It became an option for Microsoft's free Web mail service, Hotmail, in November 2010, and became the default during the switch to Outlook.com in July 2012. Social networking site Facebook started offering SSL as an option in November 2011, and made it the default for U.S. users in February, and for the world in July.

Amie Stepanovich, director of the Domestic Surveillance Program at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, commended Yahoo for the move. "It's always a positive thing when companies take steps to protect their customers' information," she said, but noted that "unfortunately, this often only happens after a harmful event."

The moves to encryption for free Web mail services constitute a major privacy gain for users, but there are other circumstances where data associated with email could be less secure. For instance, the email apps on some mobile devices may not support the SSL encryption standard, exposing users on those devices to possible snooping by third parties.

While Yahoo is finally implementing SSL by default, Google and Facebook are already moving on to higher levels of security, such as longer key lengths and "perfect forward secrecy," both of which make the encryption stronger.

Christopher Soghoian, the Principal Technologist and a Senior Policy Analyst with the American Civil Liberties Union's Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, said he's glad Yahoo has finally implemented encryption. But he expresses disappointment it took them so long.

"It is unfortunate that it has taken Yahoo four years to do what Google was able to do in 2010: deploy HTTPS encryption, for all users, by default," he argued. "Yahoo's glacial progress on this issue has been a gift to intelligence agencies around the world, who have been able to perform massive, dragnet-surveillance of Yahoo users' unprotected emails."

The American Civil Liberties Union, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Reporters Without Borders and other organizations have been asking Yahoo to implement SSL encryption for Web mail. Nonprofit advocates were not the only ones who urged Yahoo to make the shift: Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., sent a letter to several companies that did not use SSL, including Yahoo, asking them to change their practices in light of privacy concerns.

He sent the letter in February 2011 — nearly three years before Yahoo expects to make the switch.

1
Text Only
Business
  • Victimized by the 'marriage penalty'

    In a few short months, I'll pass the milestone that every little girl dreams of: the day she swears - before family and God, in sickness and in health, all in the name of love - that she's willing to pay a much higher tax rate.

    April 16, 2014

  • MS_injection well.jpg Agency clarifies earthquake-related misinformation

    A state agency says misinformation related to the debate about the cause of more earthquakes across Central Oklahoma includes oil well types, well numbers and injection pressure.
    The Prague sequence of 2011 along the Wilzetta Fault zone included a significant foreshock, a main shock of magnitude 5.7 and numerous aftershocks. It has been suggested that this sequence represents tremors triggered by fluid injection.
    More recently, earthquakes have been recorded in the vicinity of Jones, Arcadia Lake, Edmond, Guthrie, Langston and Crescent. Regulators and scientists are working together to better understand what’s causing all the shaking.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • psc 1.jpg City likely to borrow less for PSC due to sky-high tax revenue

    During his State of the City Address Edmond Mayor Charles Lamb made a political announcement — he’s planning on running again for the office.
    Lamb made the comments in the question-and-answer session of his presentation during an Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Rose Creek Golf Course, 17031 N. May Ave.
    Mayor pro tem from 2005-2011, Lamb was elected mayor last year. His long record of service in Edmond includes serving on the City Council from 1993 to 2011.
    The question about if he will run again came from the audience. Lamb alluded to his desire to be around when the Public Safety Center is finished, which will be in the fall of 2015; the next mayoral election will be in the spring of 2015.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dr. Fielding’s variance denied by close vote

    Reverse-angle parking will continue at the 13 N. University Drive office of Dr. Brad Fielding. The Edmond City Council rejected a variance request by the local optometrist to end the city’s pilot project in front of his medical facility.
    Councilman Nick Massey and Councilwoman Victoria Caldwell supported Fielding’s variance request that was dismissed in a 3-2 vote.
    Four parking lines were striped late last year at Fielding’s business after the city opened new bicycle lanes along University. The city cites the safety for bicyclists and motorists who traditionally depart while backing into traffic as the main reasons for introducing reverse-angle parking.

    April 15, 2014

  • brisket2.jpg Food Network show visits Guthrie for ’89er Days

    Guthrie’s annual ’89er Days Celebration provides a variety of activities for people to enjoy including a carnival, rodeo, parade and lots of food vendors.
    This year, visitors at the 84th annual event, which runs Tuesday through Saturday, will notice an added bonus when a film crew from the new television series “Carnival Eats” will be in town filming for its inaugural episode.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • jc_TOUCH THE CLOUDS.jpg OSBI grounds voted locale for new sculpture

    City staff is working toward an agreement with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Lab to place the “Touch the Clouds” bronze sculpture on the OSBI grounds on Second Street. The City of Edmond would retain ownership of the artwork.
    The Edmond City Council voted 4-1 this week to allow city staff to negotiate the agreement as soon as possible. Mayor Charles Lamb voted against pursuing the agreement.
    City Councilwoman Victoria Caldwell said she was initially interested in placing the sculpture near the Smith House because of it’s proximity to state Highway 66.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 11 file for county offices

    Eleven candidates filed for Oklahoma County races last week with County Assessor Leonard E. Sullivan, 79 of Oklahoma City, re-elected to office without opposition, said Doug Sanderson, secretary of the Oklahoma County Election Board.
    Voters will nominate their party’s candidates on June 24 for the statewide primary election, Sanderson said. A run-off primary election is set for Aug. 26. The statewide general election is scheduled for Nov. 4.

    April 14, 2014

  • Why Facebook is getting into the banking game

    Who would want to use Facebook as a bank? That's the question that immediately arises from news that the social network intends to get into the electronic money business.

    April 14, 2014

  • Rally for Rigs OIPA hosts Rally for the Rigs

    The Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association this week hosted a “Rally for the Rigs” at the Oklahoma state Capitol.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Watch China for the next economic trigger

    For my male readers out there, remember back to your teens and 20s when one of the primary goals was getting a date and finding a girlfriend? Oh come on! You can admit it.  Well imagine how it would have complicated matters if no woman would give you a second thought if you didn’t own property. No, not that old beat up car you drove and sometimes slept in. I mean real property, as in a house.

    April 11, 2014

Stocks