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Yahoo to Encrypt Information Flowing Between Data Centers

Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) will encrypt all information that flows between its data centers, beefing up security efforts after new reports of spying on digital content by the National Security Agency.

The Sunnyvale, California-based company will also let users encrypt data to and from Yahoo by the end of the first quarter of 2014, Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer said in a blog post today. The NSA has tapped fiber-optic cables overseas to siphon data from Yahoo and Google Inc. (GOOG), according to an Oct. 30 report in the Washington Post. Mayer reiterated in her post that Yahoo has “never given access to our data centers to the NSA.”

Yahoo, owner of the largest U.S. Web portal, is strengthening security as it seeks to reassure customers that it is protecting user privacy so they remain active on its sites. The encryption, which scrambles data using a mathematical formula that can be decoded only with a special digital key, comes after Google said it was stepping up similar efforts with information moving between its data centers.

“As we have said before, we will continue to evaluate how we can protect our users’ privacy and their data,” Mayer said in the post. “We appreciate, and certainly do not take for granted, the trust our users place in us.”

Yahoo earlier had said it would make more-secure encrypted connections standard by January for e-mail users. The company also will work closely with international e-mail partners to ensure user accounts are enabled with more protective controls.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Womack in San Francisco at bwomack1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Pui-Wing Tam at ptam13@bloomberg.net

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