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U.S. Gov Makes 5,221 Requests for Yahoo! User Data in First Half of 2015

This week Yahoo! revealed that the United States made 5,221 governmental requests for Yahoo! user data during the first half of 2015.

This week Yahoo! revealed that the United States made 5,221 governmental requests for Yahoo! user data during the first half of 2015.

In its most recent transparency report, Yahoo said that that these requests were made for data on a total of 8,424 accounts and that most of them had only non-content data (NCD) shared, or basic information such as alternate e-mail address, name, IP address, login details, billing information and other transactional information.

In addition to the requests for which only NCD was disclosed, which totaled 3,174 between January 1 and June 30, Yahoo! received 1,258 requests for content disclosure (24 percent of requests), rejected 304 requests (6 percent), and could not find data for 485 of them (9 percent).

The company also revealed that it received between 0 and 999 National Security Letters (NSLs) in the six months period, and that 0 to 999 accounts were specified in those NSLs.

During the first half of the year, Taiwan was the country to send the second largest number of user data requests to Yahoo!, 2,624, with 4,014 user accounts specified in them. 2,295 of these requests were NCD.

At 1,945 requests for 4,827 accounts, UK comes in third, followed by Germany with 1,859 requests for 3,759 accounts, France with 1,008 requests for 1,147 user accounts, and India with 831 requests for 1,184 accounts.

Globally, Yahoo! received 15,583 governmental requests for user data, with 25,986 accounts specified in them. 7,817 of them were NCD, 1,568 resulted in disclosed content, 4,993 were rejected, and no data sa found for 1,205 of them.

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Additionally, the Internet firm notes that it received 227 of Emergency Disclosure Requests (which involve disclosure of information to save a life or prevent serious physical harm) worldwide in the first half of the year, and that they specified 250 user accounts. 63 percent of these requests resulted in disclosure of data, the company says.

Earlier this year, Yahoo said it plans to introduce “end to end encryption” for email this year to boost privacy protection for users concerned about snooping from governments or hackers. 

In 2014 Yahoo took measures to encrypt Internet traffic moving between its data centers.

The efforts by Yahoo come as Internet and technology firms scramble to boost their security efforts and up encryption after Edward Snowden began to leak classified details on the scope of US government surveillance.

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