There have been reports that Yahoo secretly scanned hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts at the order of the National Security Agency or FBI.

Sources say that the company complied with classified U.S. government directive. Intelligence officials wanted Yahoo to search for a set of characters.

Reuters reported that Yahoo complied with a government order to effectively build a backdoor into its Yahoo Mail service, giving authorities the ability to spy on users in real time.

Yahoo has released a statement saying that "Yahoo is a law abiding company, and complies with the laws of the United States."

According to the Washington Post, the Company released their statement advising that Yahoo called the Reuters story "misleading" and said that it narrowly interprets government data requests to minimize the disclosure of users' information." However, they have not outright denied the claim.

"The mail scanning described in the article does not exist on our systems," Yahoo's second statement said.

Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer's decision to obey the directive agitated some senior executives.

The company's former Chief Information Security Officer Alex Stamos purportedly quit the company last year because of its decision to cooperate with the government.

Stamos now holds the top security job at Facebook, in June 2015.

Accordingly, that decision led to a programming error that left all Yahoo email vulnerable to hackers, the former Yahoo employee said.

Instead of looping in the security team, Mayer turned to the Yahoo's email engineers to develop the software, Reuters reported.

In view of this e-mail confidentiality turmoil about Yahoo, netizens and e-mail users also raised the same questions about whether intelligence officials approached other email providers with the same kind of request.

On the other hand, Microsoft, Google, Apple and Twitter have all issued statements denying similar activity within their companies:

Google, which runs Gmail, said in a statement: "We've never received such a request, but if we did, our response would be simple: 'no way'."

Microsoft, another major email provider, said, "We have never engaged in the secret scanning of email traffic like what has been reported today about Yahoo."

Apple, in a statement said, "We have never received a request of this type. If we were to receive one, we would oppose it in court."