In a test, CNET was able to intercept and read Yahoo instant messages because the company has still not turned on encryption.
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We broke down how the system allows for NSA analysts Presenter, used to read the content of stored emails, also enables an analyst using XKeyscore to read the content of Facebook chats or private messages.
An analyst can monitor such Facebook chats by entering the Facebook user name and a date range into a simple search screen.
SSL and similar technologies, if implemented properly, are designed to be proof against even the NSA's aggressive attempts to vacuum up petabytes of Internet traffic.
"We have ample evidence now that Yahoo doesn't really care about security or the confidentiality of its customers' communications," said Chris Soghoian, principal technologist at the ACLU's Speech, Privacy and Technology Project.
Signal uses standard cellular mobile numbers as identifiers, and uses end-to-end encryption to secure all communications to other Signal users.
The applications include mechanisms by which users can independently verify the identity of their messaging correspondents and the integrity of the data channel.
AOL's AIM service encrypts content -- but leaks metadata about who's talking to whom.
These privacy problems were highlighted by a Guardian article Thursday, which revealed that spy agencies were eavesdropping on Yahoo's unencrypted video chats.
Y., allows individuals to chat face-to-face either on a desktop computer or their mobile device. "Paltalk is routinely used by internationally recognized and designated terrorist groups for communication and recruitment," said Evan Kohlmann, a consultant for Flashpoint.