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Saturday, September 07, 2013
Yahoo Receives More U.S. Government Requests

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 wrote.

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 Edward Snowden.

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.

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