To Stave Off Exodus, Yahoo Blocks Email Forwarding The timing is 'extremely suspicious' By Arden Dier, Newser Staff Posted Oct 11, 2016 12:05 PM CDT 29 comments Comments Yahoo's headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)Yahoo's headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File) (Newser) – Yahoo just made it harder for users to switch providers after some 500 million accounts were hacked and reports surfaced that the company perused user emails for the NSA. Users say the company disabled automatic email forwarding at the start of the month so that anyone hoping to send received emails to a new address is out of luck, reports the AP. The change doesn't affect users who set up email forwarding previously. Yahoo says the feature was temporarily disabled "as part of previously planned maintenance to improve its functionality" and will be "back up and running as soon as possible," but a user hoping to switch services after 18 years couldn't help but notice the "extremely suspicious timing." The feature has been "a basic concept for 15 years," another user says. The fact that "all of a sudden it's under development, and only at Yahoo … seems extremely dubious to me." Rightly so, per TechCrunch, since email forwarding wouldn't "need to be shut down in order to be 'improved.'" Yahoo notes its service allowing users to keep track of several email accounts at once is still active, but some have decided to abandon their accounts anyway. One Yahoo user tells the AP she's using an out-of-office message to notify people of her new address. "Following recent data and privacy breaches, I will be discontinuing use of Yahoo Mail," it reads. Rather delete your account for good? Hackread describes how here.