Yahoo asks gov't to clear up email-surveillance reports

Features Associated Press

Yahoo is asking the government to clear the air regarding reports that it scanned incoming user email for the feds.

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Earlier this month, Reuters reported that Yahoo searched hundreds of millions of emails for specific information at the government's request, raising concerns about secret government surveillance programs. Yahoo called the Reuters story "misleading" and declined to comment on a subsequent New York Times story.

Yahoo says that while it can't respond in detail to these stories, the government can. In a letter to James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, it asks the government to confirm whether it issued such an order, to declassify the order if it exists and to make a public comment that clarifies the situation.

A national-intelligence spokesman says the agency will reply to Yahoo.