Yahoo! Releases First Transparency Report

(image source: Yahoo!) BY EVAN THOMAS Yahoo! has joined the disclosure movement
— Friday the company published a list of government data requests through the first
half of 2013. Total requests covered less than .01 percent
of global Yahoo! users. It’s worth noting Tumblr is not included — Yahoo! says the
blog platform will issue its own report later. (via Yahoo!) The U.S. saw the highest request frequency
— the government wanted info from more than 40,000 different user accounts. Yahoo! released
content for 4,604 of these requests; in 67,988 cases it provided metadata like email addresses,
locations and message headers. (via Yahoo!) Yahoo! lumped together all requests to create
its chart — Ars Technica reports it includes requests from law enforcement as well as National
Security Letters and those requests under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
(via Ars Technica) But for now Yahoo! is prohibited from going
into more detail about national security requests — it can’t even publish a count of just
the FISA requests. Yahoo! is reportedly suing the government
for permission to get to the specifics. “Democracy demands accountability, and accountability
requires transparency,” Yahoo!’s legal counsel writes. (via VentureBeat) The company joins other networks like Facebook
and Google in publishing transparency reports after news of the NSA’s ongoing surveillance
programs. Facebook’s first summary covers the first half of 2013, like Yahoo!’s; Google
has been maintaining bi-annual reports since 2009. (via Facebook, Google) Yahoo! says it will release these reports
every six months. You can read the first one yourself on Yahoo!’s Tumblr.