Yahoo said it received 12,444 requests for user data from the U.S.
government in the first half of this year, more than any other country for which it shares information about data collection.
The company provided data to U.S. agencies in 92 percent of those cases, is
said on Friday in its first global transparency report. The next highest
number of requests came from Germany, with 4,295; Italy, with 2,637; and
Taiwan, with 1,942.
Yahoo's efforts to disclose more data about its dealings with governments
follows other large technology companies including Facebook, Google and
Microsoft, which release similar reports. The data requests Yahoo receives
only affect a tiny portion of its users and must be made through lawful
means, Ron Bell, general counsel, wrote in a blog post.
"We regularly push back against improper requests for user data, including
fighting requests that are unclear, improper, overbroad or unlawful," Bell
Technology companies have pressed the U.S. government to allow them to
report aggregate numbers of data requests, following reports earlier this
year that the U.S. National Security Agency is collecting millions of
residents? telephone records and computer communications of foreigners from
Web businesses under court order.
Also a Friday report claims that search giant Google steps up the pace on an
encryption plan to protect information in transit between its data centers,
in the wake of the National Security Agency spying scandal.
The Washington Post reported that Google's plan was devised last year, but
was put on the front burner to help safeguard the company's reputation in
the wake of the surveillance documents leaked by former NSA tech worker
Google and Microsoft are expected to jointly sue the government on Monday,
the latest in a series of moves that indicate some tech companies are not
quietly acquiescing to government demands for access to user data.