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Yahoo Also Discloses Number of Requests From Feds

Joins Apple, Microsoft and Facebook in campaign to look transparent

Photo: Sylvain Sonnet

Yahoo became the latest company to disclose the number of requests for user data it received from law enforcement, a number that includes the number of national security requests it received.

It also announced that, later this year, it will issue its first global law enforcement transparency report covering the first half of the year. The report will be updated twice a year.

Yahoo said it received between 12,000 and 13,000 requests in the six-month period Dec. 1, 2012 and May 31, 2013. The most common requests were for fraud, homicides, kidnappings, and other criminal investigations, the company said. Yahoo did not report how many users were affected by the requests, a number Apple, Microsoft and Facebook provided

Like the other Internet companies accused of opening up their data to the government, Yahoo took the opportunity to remind users of its commitment to transparency and user privacy, making an additional plea to the government to "reconsider its stance on the issue" and allow it and other companies to break out the FISA and NSA requests separately.

"Democracy demands accountability," wrote Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Ron Bell, Yahoo's general counsel. 

Google remains the holdout in reporting a bulk law-enforcement number, criticizing the government for limiting the companies from publishing the FISA and NSA requests as a separate item.

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