To say that Yahoo hasn't been terribly popular lately would be a huge understatement. Shortly after the tech industry's former darling revealed that it suffered a major data breach that compromised 500 million users in 2014, things went from bad to worse for the Internet giant. Namely, it came to light that Yahoo was scanning emails from its users on such a large scale that it has actually built a robust surveillance system. The spying tool allegedly scanned for specific character strings and was built on request from the US government. While other tech companies promptly denied that they've ever done anything even remotely similar to that and stated that no US intelligence agency ever made any such requests to them, Yahoo is still adamant to prove that what it did wasn't only common but also misinterpreted.
Following that line of thinking, the company has just sent an open letter to US National Intelligence chief James Clapper. In the letter, Yahoo publicly demands Clapper to clarify national security orders on obtaining user data. Yahoo's representatives specifically stated that such requests are often issued to Internet companies by various US intelligence agencies. Furthermore, in a short press release published on Yahoo's pages, the company asserted that the aforementioned mail scanning tool doesn't exist. Interestingly enough, it didn't label the original report revealing the surveillance system as false but simply "misleading". Unfortunately, no further clarification has been given but simply requested from the US government. Presuming that this statement wasn't twisted in some way, it's possible that Yahoo is legally not allowed to speak of the matter any further, which would also explain why it requested the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to set the record straight.
All in all, Yahoo is in a really tight spot right now. In addition to facing serious accusations about compromising user privacy, it's facing them at the worst possible time. The company is currently in the process of selling its core business to Verizon. The two reportedly agreed to a $4.8 billion sale but Verizon is now allegedly looking to haggle because it feels recent events significantly affected the value of Yahoo's Internet services business.