Items tagged with Email

Generally speaking, you have a right to privacy when it comes to your email account, except when you're accused of a crime and there's a warrant. That's basically what a New York judge ruled when he upheld a previous order giving the U.S. government full access to the Gmail account of a suspect in a money laundering investigation. At issue here is a controversial warrant granted on June 11 that permitted law enforcement to siphon a suspect's entire Gmail account, including his address book and draft emails, in order to search the emails for evidence in his alleged crime. Though the warrant has been upheld, it remains controversial since it's at odds with decisions in several other courts, Info... Read more...
Ever since Edward Snowden leaked details on how the government had forced various IT companies to disclose information (or secured their willing cooperation), companies like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft have been desperate to regain their users' trust. Six months ago, Microsoft announced that it would reengineer its products and services to provide a much higher level of security -- today, the company revealed that its reached an important milestone in that process. As of now, Outlook.com uses TLS (Transport Layer Security) to provide end-to-end encryption for inbound and outbound email -- assuming that the provider on the other end also uses TLS. The TLS standard has been in the news fairly... Read more...
Attention Yahoo Mail users, if you're rocking a browser release that's now dated, you'll need to upgrade to a newer version to continue to have access to all the same features you've grown accustomed to. Beginning June 5, Yahoo will put into effect a new policy to support only the two most recent versions of Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Safari. If you choose not to upgrade, you'll still have access to your email, but you'll be automatically switched from the full-featured version of Yahoo Mail to the company's Basic Mail experience. "We understand that this policy update may be frustrating for some affected users. We appreciate their help in upgrading their browser and hope that the... Read more...
AOL has experienced a nasty security breach that exposed a great deal of user information, and the company says that it was the work of criminal hackers, as opposed to some kind of glitch or oversight. “AOL is investigating a security incident that involved unauthorized access to AOL's network and systems. AOL is working with best-in-class external forensic experts and federal authorities to investigate this serious criminal activity,” wrote the AOL Mail Team in a blog post. AOL first noticed that there was a problem when users began seeing an increase in spam in the form of spoofed emails. The mail team has determined that email and postal addresses, contacts, and encrypted passwords... Read more...
Ever have a funny feeling you're being watched? You're not being paranoid, you're just savvy to the way things work in the Internet era. Between Uncle Sam keeping tabs on your communications to Google trying to learn what makes you tick so that it has something to sell advertisers, you are indeed being watched. With regards to Google, the sultan of search updated its terms of service (ToS) to make clear that it looks at and analyzes user content and email so that it can offer up ads that might be of more interest, custom search results, and other benefits. "Our automated systems analyze your content (including emails) to provide you personally relevant product features, such as customized search... Read more...
Microsoft is reversing course on a recently updated privacy policy that specified it was within its legal right to sift through a user's Hotmail or Outlook email account if the company had reason to believe something illegal was taking place. From here on out, Microsoft will pass the buck to law enforcement officials rather than continue to catch heat from privacy advocates. The issue first came to light when Microsoft received information indicating an employee was providing stolen intellectual property, including code related to its activation process, to a French blogger known for trafficking such material for profit. As luck would have it, the blogger was a Hotmail user, so Microsoft infiltrated... Read more...
Through the cries of some users at Apple's official support forums, we learn that a bug with Apple's Mail client can surface when upgrading to the latest version of OS X, Mavericks. And, though it's a simple bug, it's a frustrating one: Email will not refresh (eg: no new mail) unless the app is closed entirely and then relaunched. Fortunately, Apple's aware of the issue. While a fix is being prepared, Apple's offering up some advice to help sooth the pain in the interim. When the "Take all accounts offline" option is used, you can use the "Get all new mail" option which will force the client to grab all new email. Apple further recommends creating shortcuts with both options on the toolbar so... Read more...
It’s becoming more tedious to be a Yahoo! Mail user these days. The Gmail-ish redesign a few months ago was supposed to bring many attractive changes to the email service, but it launched with an annoying auto-forward bug, and anecdotally, performance has been slow and buggy from what I’ve experienced. Then, there was that outage last month that left some users without service for as much as a week. And now, Yahoo Mail has been hacked. “Recently, we identified a coordinated effort to gain unauthorized access to Yahoo Mail accounts. Upon discovery, we took immediate action to protect our users, prompting them to reset passwords on impacted accounts,” wrote Yahoo’s... Read more...
You've probably noticed, Gmail is down. It's not just down for you - it's down across the US and the world, with reports coming in from Europe, Canada, and India that one of the planet's largest email networks has suddenly failed. The only thing missing is any information from Google. Ironically, Google's App dashboard was one of the last places to get the news; the website showed Google Mail as being up when I began writing this story, then flipped to "Disrupted" partway through. Why? Who knows. Jokes about someone unplugging a server don't really apply, we're talking about a worldwide service with service in dozens of countries. Outages like this can be caused by anything from deliberate sabotage... Read more...
Privacy advocates take note, Google is rolling out a new feature to Gmail that allows your Google+ connections to email you even if you've never shared with the sender your email address. The assumption on Google's part is that you're familiar enough with your Google+ contacts to exchange emails, and by implementing this feature, you can avoid situations where you're halfway through an email draft before realizing you never actually exchanged email addresses with the intended recipient. Now, before anyone goes into a privacy panic, there are some things you should know. First, your email address still isn't visible to a Google+ connection, unless you send that person an email. Likewise, that... Read more...
Yahoo Mail users have had a rough time lately. First, Yahoo revamped its mail service back in October and removed some popular features, including tabs. More recently, a "complex" outage lasting nearly a week affected several users. The good news is things are looking up. Yahoo Mail has been fully restored, and that tab feature? It's making a comeback, baby. In a blog post today, Yahoo said that one of the reasons it removed the feature in the first place is because users complained that the more they had open, the more difficult they were to manage. So, Yahoo nuked the functionality altogether and introduced a "Recent view" feature for hopping between emails, drafts, and search results. "Many... Read more...
For some unlucky users, Yahoo's email service has been down for nearly a week. The problem first began at 10:27 PM PT last Monday, and since that time, Yahoo's team of engineers have been working feverishly to fully restore service. Things are taking longer than expected because the issue is "much more complex than it seemed at first," Yahoo chief Marissa Mayer stated in a apologetic blog post. According to Mayer, the problem was traced back to a specific hardware outage in one of Yahoo's storage systems serving 1 percent of its users. At the time, Yahoo expected to have things fully operational by 1:30 PM PT on Tuesday, less than 24 hours after the outage first began. "However, the problem was... Read more...
Yahoo's team of engineers are scrambling to fix a problem with the company's email service that is still affecting some users after more than 48 hours of downtime. Some Yahoo Mail users have been unable to access their email since late Monday night, and while Yahoo initially tried to dismiss the outage as something temporary for "scheduled maintenance," the company eventually fessed up that something else was going on after the problem persisted. "Some of our users have not been able to access their mail since 10:27 PM PT on Monday night, due to a hardware problem in one of our mail data centers," Yahoo's senior vice president Jefferey Bonforte said in a statement. "The issue has been harder... Read more...
Early this morning, Facebook experienced an outage, leaving many users unable to post status updates, leave comments, upload pictures, and more. According to Downrightnow, the site hit a service disruption, and as of the last update at roughly 8:15am EST, there were still widespread problems. There have been a couple of brief dips in service over the last day or so, as well. Facebook has yet to comment on the situation--maybe they were trying to post an update on Facebook (zing!)--but more important than being unable to post status updates and the like is the fact that Facebook’s messaging service was down, too. Many people have grown to reply on Facebook as a de facto email account (especially... Read more...
Rather than receiving keys to a new car for its 16th birthday, Yahoo Mail is celebrating its milestone by handing users the keys to a revamped email service designed to be "elegant and intuitive on desktop, iOS, and Android." Part of that entails the addition of "conversations," otherwise known as emails grouped into threads. "We redesigned Yahoo Mail to be more efficient, too. Things you do all of the time like search, starring, and deleting are now one-click actions that appear when you hover over an email," Yahoo stated in a blog post. "We also wanted to give you more breathing room in your inbox, so you can collapse the left-hand toolbar to be more productive." Yahoo also decided to dole... Read more...
We're not sure if misery truly loves company, but if you found that your Gmail accounts weren't working yesterday, take solace in the fact that the problem probably wasn't something on your end. Apparently someone at Google tripped over the power cord (our unofficial diagnosis), because Gmail went down pretty hard yesterday. "Between 0554 and 1530 Pacific Time today, 29.1 percent of messages received by Gmail users were delayed," Google said on its Gmail status page. "The average (median) delay was just 2.6 seconds, but some mail was more severely delayed. However, this issue did not affect users’ access to the Gmail page or other functionality." In a previous status update, Google said... Read more...
Forget the usual, “We can’t comment on pending litigation” line that companies often employ when accused of wrongdoing. LinkedIn took to its blog this weekend to rebut claims by some of its users that the company broke into their personal email accounts and accessed their contact lists without permission. LinkedIn's offices in Mountain View, Calif. A group of LinkedIn users brought the class action lawsuit in San Jose, Calif., claiming that LinkedIn harvested email addresses from their personal email contact lists and then contacted some of those email accounts. LinkedIn’s Blake Lawit took to the official LinkedIn Blog yesterday to give the company’s take on the... Read more...
It's hard to believe that this is a headline in 2013, given IMAP has been around for decades and is extremely useful, but when the company in question is wrapped into its own email protocol, it becomes a little less surprising. Simply put: If you use Outlook.com as your email provider, you now have the option of using IMAP, a protocol that gives you (nearly) real-time access to your email in an external client - eg: Mozilla Thunderbird. As a general rule, Microsoft doesn't recommend IMAP per se, imploring that you use its own Exchange ActiveSync protocol whenever possible. But, as many clients don't support EAS, the only option has been to use SMTP which must download each and every email in... Read more...
Google has continued to fight for its right to party continue scanning user email in a Californian court this week, with it seeming rather obvious that it's doing little to sway public opinion. The company, as you might recall, has been trying to prove its case that it must scan user email - it's all part of its ability to serve email. Of course, this is absolutely untrue, as many email providers don't make it a point to scan user email. Yahoo! used to be one of those, but through a recent service agreement, it states that it's begun scanning email much like Google does, and for the same purpose. Google wants to scan user email for the sake of advertising, that much is obvious. Since the company... Read more...
Gmail users have had access to built-in Google Voice calling (in North America, at least) for years now. With Microsoft exerting a renewed push on the Outlook.com, it's no real surprise to see Skype making the transition this week. A few months back, Microsoft announced that a preview of Skype video calling + messaging was arriving in Outlook.com windows, and now, it's going global. Well, almost. Skype for Outlook.com is now fully available in several countries around the globe including the United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil, France, Canada, and the United States. For those who reside outside of that fence, Microsoft has promised its users that it's "working hard" to bring it elsewhere, and soon.... Read more...
When working in a team environment, especially when many people are remote, communication can be tough, and sometimes downright frustrating. One problem that arises is being unable to keep in tune with everyone else easily, made worse if the lines of communication are spread across different methods and services. Then there's the issue of distractions - having to pay attention to a bunch of different services to keep an eye out for things leads to one thing: less work getting done. Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield wants to solve this issue, and is attempting to with "Slack", a team-targeted messaging tool that aims to rid all other solutions. Taking a quick look at a screenshot is all it... Read more...
It’s no secret (anymore) that the NSA has been using a secret court to demand data from a number of Internet companies, including email providers. One company, Lavabit, is refusing to comply by enacting what is essentially the online equivalent of passive resistance--it’s shutting down. What’s interesting about Lavabit is that it’s a secure, privacy-conscious web-based email service--and it was NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s preferred email provider, according to Wired. Edward Snowden (Credit: The Guardian) Lavabit owner and operator Ladar Levison posted this message on Lavabit’s site: My Fellow Users, I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to... Read more...
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