Yahoo! Inc. disabled automatic email forwarding at the beginning of October, The Associated Press reported Oct. 10, citing several users.
Users who already had automatic forwarding set up before October are unaffected. However, users who want to leave Yahoo following recent news about hacking and surveillance are reportedly having trouble shifting to other services. As per the company's website, the feature is temporarily disabled while it is under development.
While it is unclear whether there will be a mass exodus from Yahoo, users who want to leave are reportedly coming up with workarounds for the disabled email forwarding feature. Some are opting to leave an out-of-office message on their Yahoo accounts which provides their new email address.
Yahoo in September revealed that an investigation confirmed that data linked with at least 500 million user accounts was stolen from its network in late 2015 by a "state-sponsored actor." The company also faces a lawsuit after the reveal that accuses the company of putting users' personal information at risk.
About two weeks later, Reuters reported that the company in 2015 had secretly complied with a classified U.S. government demand to scan Yahoo Mail accounts. While the company contested the report, other tech companies distanced themselves from the controversy, saying they did not receive any such requests from the government, and even if they did, they would have challenged the requests in court.
Yahoo also faces a possible financial loss following these revelations, as Verizon Communications Inc. is reportedly seeking a $1 billion discount off its proposed acquisition of Yahoo's operating business.