Yahoo Reports 29,000 Data Requests From Government
Yahoo received 29,000 government data requests on its users this year, with almost half coming from the United States, according to the company’s global transparency report released Friday.
Yahoo said in the report, covering the first six months of 2013, that 12,444 of the requests from worldwide governments came from the United States.
At Yahoo, we take the privacy of our users seriously,” general counsel (Yahoo) Ron Bell said in a blog post. We also recognize our role as a global company in promoting freedom of expression wherever we do business. That’s why we’re issuing our first global law enforcement transparency report.”
He added that the report includes US “national security requests” which have become a major issue in light of reports on secret government surveillance programs run by the United States. “Our legal department demands that government data requests be made through lawful means and for lawful purposes,” Bell said.
“We regularly push back against improper requests for user data, including fighting requests that are unclear, improper, overbroad or unlawful. In addition, we mounted a two-year legal challenge to the 2008 amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and recently won a motion requiring the US government to consider further declassifying court documents from that case.”
The US data requests:
Yahoo said the numbers reported “include all types of government data requests such as criminal law enforcement requests and those under US national security authorities, including the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and National Security Letters (NSLs), if any were received.”
In addition to the United States, Yahoo listed requests from 16 other countries or territories including Australia, Hong Kong, India, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Britain, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.