) announced that it will join rival Google (
) in an effort to keep its user emails safe from hackers and
government officials. The tech giants are teaming up to build an
end-to-end encrypted email system that is mathematically impossible
for hackers to crack and for governments to read by next year.
As per the tech giants, the encryption tool will be based on PGP
encryption and will be an optional feature that users will have to
turn on. PGP encryption is a popular computer program to encrypt or
decrypt data and provides cryptographic privacy and authentication
for data communication. PGP uses a public key system, where each
user has a unique encryption key stored on laptops, tablets and
smartphones known only to them.
However, it is a very tedious software as there is no
password-reset function and users have to undergo several steps to
send even short emails.
More and more companies are trying to beef up their security
systems since ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked information
about NSA's global Internet surveillance program PRISM, under which
the agency collects user data of Internet companies like Google,
Facebook Inc. (
), Apple Inc. (
), Yahoo! and Microsoft. As part of this operation, they can keep
online activities under surveillance to determine any threat to
The NSA has to get permission for data-mining under Section 702 and
then these companies conform to it by providing access to data
keeping the personal details of the customers safe. However,
Internet companies have alleged that the NSA sometimes collects
data without their consent.
As technology companies bank on Internet usage to generate revenue
and profits, they are anxious that hackers and the government's
spying activities will hamper their prospects. Therefore, it is
necessary that they take adequate steps to prevent tapping of user
data and offer more secure connections. Google, Microsoft and
Facebook were some of the first companies to take action by
improving security for their users.
Yahoo! currently holds Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) while Google
carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
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