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In the midst of stories surrounding the hacking of at least 500 million Yahoo user accounts and the secretive scanning of private emails at the behest of the government, Yahoo Mail users are now finding it difficult to leave the service after the company "temporarily disabled" email forwarding earlier in the month. According to several users speaking to The Associated Press, the ability to more easily leave Yahoo Mail with the email forwarding feature -- which ensures old email is sent to a new account -- has been removed completely.

Jason Danner, owner of an information technology business in Auckland, New Zealand, said it is all "extremely suspicious timing" for Yahoo to get rid of the feature amid news that undoubtedly has many of its users interested in setting up accounts on other services. Without providing a comment, Yahoo referred to a line on the company's help site to explain its action of "temporarily" removing the feature "while we work to improve it." Anyone who has already set up email forwarding prior to the change won't be affected.
This feature is under development. While we work to improve it, we've temporarily disabled the ability to turn on Mail Forwarding for new forwarding addresses. If you've already enabled Mail Forwarding in the past, your email will continue to forward to the address you previously configured.
Several people speaking with The Associated Press said that recent news surrounding Yahoo was causing them to consider leaving Yahoo Mail. One user said a "certain amount" of government surveillance is expected to be going on at most times through smart devices, "but providing the U.S. government unrestricted access -- that really, really violates our privacy." The same user opted to leave an out-of-office message on their account in lieu of the traditional email-forwarding ability.
The feature has been "a basic concept for 15 years for just about every email provider out there," said Brian McIntosh, who owns a small technology business and first alerted the Associated Press to the issue. "All of a sudden it's under development," McIntosh said in a telephone interview. "And only at Yahoo."
Following the original Reuters story about Yahoo's email scanning, the company called the article "misleading" and said that the scanning program "does not exist on our systems." A second report from The New York Times cited a source that claimed Yahoo enacted the program because of an ordnance from the United States government, which was seeking information on an unspecified state-sponsored terrorist group who used Yahoo Mail for communication.

Other companies, like Google and Microsoft, have come forward saying they got no such request from the government. An Apple spokesperson said, "We have never received a request of this type. If we were to receive one, we would oppose it in court." Throughout all of this, Yahoo is finalizing its sale to Verizon, with the latter company now reportedly asking for a $1 billion discount.

Update 10/11: A Yahoo spokesperson contacted MacRumors with the following statement:
"We're working to get auto-forward back up and running as soon as possible because we know how useful it can be to our users. The feature was temporary disabled as part of previously planned maintenance to improve its functionality between a user's various accounts. Users can expect an update to the auto-forward functionality soon. In the meantime, we continue to support multiple account management."
Update 10/14: Yahoo has re-enabled mail forwarding and explained its move to temporarily disable the feature in a blog post.
Why the pause? Over the past year, Yahoo Mail has been upgrading its platform. This has allowed us to bring a better search experience to Yahoo Mail, add multiple account support, and improve performance as we quickly scale this new system globally. The feature was temporarily disabled as part of this process.

Article Link: Yahoo Mail Users Trying to Leave Service Faced With 'Temporarily Disabled' Email Forwarding [Update: Re-enabled]
 

oneMadRssn

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
5,593
13,018
Europe
What an utter crock. Farewell, Yahoo. I doubt you'll be missed.

Some of my fondest memories of early internet were in yahoo chatrooms or playing chess in yahoo games with someone else ("A/S/L?"). Connecting and communicating with another person on the other side of the planet in real time like that was amazing. But I guess that Yahoo died a long time ago anyway, and I will certainly not miss today's Yahoo.
 
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keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,534
25,288
Some of my fondest memories of early internet were in yahoo chatrooms or playing chess in yahoo games with someone else ("A/S/L?"). Connecting and communicating with another person on the other side of the planet in real time like that was amazing. But I guess that Yahoo died a long time ago anyway, and I will certainly not miss today's Yahoo.

Aahh, I was closer to the MSN Messenger generation so don't have much fondness or nostalgia for Yahoo!
 
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tuslaw12

macrumors newbie
Sep 24, 2014
26
23
Akron Ohio
Poor Verizon getting caught in all this right at the time of sale. They should just avoid buying it all together regardless of whether or not they get a discount.
 
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earthTOmitchel

Contributing Editor
Staff member
Mar 6, 2015
392
589
Louisiana
Some of my fondest memories of early internet were in yahoo chatrooms or playing chess in yahoo games with someone else ("A/S/L?"). Connecting and communicating with another person on the other side of the planet in real time like that was amazing. But I guess that Yahoo died a long time ago anyway, and I will certainly not miss today's Yahoo.
Exactly the same. Do you remember Yahoo Graffiti? For a good couple of months in my middle school days I would manage to get in one game of Graffiti every day before school, chatting up strangers and drawing terrible clues. It was truly a mind-blowing thing to be able to interact with people in a gaming-sense to me back then, prior to Xbox Live.
 
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ignatius345

macrumors 68040
Aug 20, 2015
3,861
5,315
Throughout all of this, Yahoo is finalizing its sale to Verizon, with the latter company now reportedly asking for a $1 billion discount.

Yahoo/Verizon: what a dream team!
[doublepost=1476193221][/doublepost]
Poor Verizon getting caught in all this right at the time of sale. They should just avoid buying it all together regardless of whether or not they get a discount.
Poor, poor Verizon. I feel just awful for them!
 
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OldSchoolMacGuy

Suspended
Jul 10, 2008
4,197
9,050
The message may be misleading, perhaps they're getting so swamped with forward requests that they're triggering spam blacklists to other providers or such. I'll hold judgement for a bit.

If that were the case, why wouldn't Yahoo simply say that? Instead they offer an excuse that clearly is a lie.

Large providers like Yahoo don't have to worry about triggering spam filters in this way due to whitelisting and agreements with spam list providers like Spamhaus.
 
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jayducharme

macrumors 601
Jun 22, 2006
4,024
4,178
The thick of it
I'll hold judgement for a bit.
I won't. Yahoo has been mismanaged for a long time. They've been one of the few services that has insisted on charging customers a monthly fee for e-mail forwarding. So this current news doesn't surprise me at all.

The best thing about Yahoo, IMO, was its Groups feature, which has largely been supplanted now by social networks like Facebook. But years ago they had some of the best organized chat rooms on the Internet. That, and Flickr used to be really good too.

It really doesn't matter at this point anyway. Once the deal with Verizon goes through (IF it goes through), the site will probably become even worse.
 
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ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
9,275
5,415
Writing a script that automatically checks your email, responds with something along the lines of "This account is no longer used, please use xxx@yyy.zzz in the future, instead. Your messages are automatically forwarded for now - this behavior may stop in the future and you should not depend on it." and forwarding the message isn't too hard.

In Python, you can use the imaplib or poplib to read your mail (based on if you're using IMAP or POP3 respectively), then using smtplib to send the response and forward the message. All three libraries come with a standard install of Python. OS X has come with Python preinstalled for over a decade (I'm not sure when it first started getting included... I know at least as long ago as Snow Leopard, and maybe even long before that.)

Quick example for checking imap is:

Code:
from imaplib import IMAP4_SSL
imap = IMAP4_SSL(server_address, server_port)
imap.login('old_address@yahoo.com', email_password)
imap.select('INBOX')
status, response = imap.sort('REVERSE DATE', 'UTF-8', 'ALL')

for messageID in response[0].split():
    status, response = imap.fetch(messageID, '(SENDER)')

    sender = response[0][1]
    # Now you want to connect to your SMTP server to send the automatic response.
    # Also fetch the subject and body of the message so you can forward it to your new address.
 
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iapplelove

macrumors 603
Nov 22, 2011
5,318
7,612
East Coast USA
Poor Verizon getting caught in all this right at the time of sale. They should just avoid buying it all together regardless of whether or not they get a discount.

Poor Verizon if they purchased and finalized a month ago. I think things couldn't be better for them now. They can either A. walk away...or B. Buy Yahoo for pennies on the dollar now, and that's what they probably will do.
 
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miknos

Suspended
Mar 14, 2008
940
793
Yahoo is bankrupt. Probably is receiving money from US government to stay afloat.
 
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Robert.Walter

macrumors 68010
Jul 10, 2012
2,002
2,485
Dumb, dumb, ignorant and cynical move on the part of yahoo management.

This would seem to violate the mark-to-market principle.

If yahoo is impeding user defections, they are committing fraud by artificially preventing defections to keep their user count and stock price artificially high.

The lawyers will have a field day with this.
 
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coolfactor

macrumors 603
Jul 29, 2002
5,134
5,560
Vancouver, BC
I advise people never use email services provided by their internet provider, and don't use these "free" services for business.

I did use Google Apps for several years until I smarted up. Now I've transitioned to Runbox and couldn't be happier. Great folks there.
 
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576316

macrumors 601
May 19, 2011
4,056
2,556
AND what's with Mail for iOS and macOS telling me my Yahoo password is wrong every couple of weeks? Then I log back in and get the 'logged in on new device' email. What is wrong with Yahoo!?
 
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Seuck

macrumors newbie
Dec 10, 2015
22
42
Any reasonable alternative?
I mean, an email box not managed by companies located in USA/UK/China, whose business is not selling data, that does not do machine learning on them.
And well, if it's located in Iceland or another country that takes seriously free speech even better.
 
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[AUT] Thomas

macrumors 6502a
Mar 13, 2016
708
876
Graz [Austria]
Yahoo... I knew this company sucked, but I didn't expect them to be that lame...

2013: Yahoo implements SSL for IMAP and POP3, only a decade to late.
2016: Yahoo disables email-forwarding claiming it needs fixing. Something that literally worked for decades.
2019: Yahoo deems webmail, IMAP and POP as too complex. Now offers TELNET access instead.

If you're stuck with any ISP or otherwise backward email-provider take this as an example, what happens if you waited longer than you should have. If you've developed trust-issues in the meantime: buy your own domain and have it hosted by google or whatever you like. If you change your mind, change your hosting provider. Your domain stays with you. Cost: 10-15 bucks per year.
 
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