Yahoo! Reveals NSA Data Requests In Online PR Move To Appease Users

Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn

Yahoo! is the latest tech firm to reveal details on the data requests it has received from US law enforcement agencies.

The firm joins a list of companies including Apple, Facebook and Microsoft, to make information known on the numerous demands for user information from the National Security Agency's so called Prism surveillance programme.

In a piece of online PR targeted at appeasing its users, Yahoo! CEO, Marissa Mayer, wrote on the firm's blog: " We've worked hard over the years to earn our users' trust and we fight hard to preserve it.

"To that end, we are disclosing the total number of requests for user data that law enforcement agencies in the U.S. made to us between December 1, 2012 and May 31, 2013"

In total, the firm received between 12,000 and 13,000 requests during that period, the most common requests concerned criminal investigations on a number of issues including fraud, kidnappings, homicides and others.

In a similar disclosure, Apple revealed it received between 4,000 and 5,000 requests over the same period.

However, both Facebook and Microsoft's disclosures covered the second half of 2012 instead, with Facebook confirming between 9,000 and 10,000 requests were made, and Microsoft between 6,000 and 7,000.

Since the Guardian revealed information on NSA's Prism programme - a security surveillance programme linked to the data collection of material including search history, email content, live chats and file transfers on a number of key websites -  earlier this month, the firms involved have been trying to win back the trust of many disgruntled users, worried about their online privacy.

In the blog post, Ms Mayer added: "Democracy demands accountability.  Recognizing the important role that Yahoo! can play in ensuring accountability, we will issue later this summer our first global law enforcement transparency report, which will cover the first half of the year.

"We will refresh this report with current statistics twice a year."

News brought to you by ClickThrough – experts in SEO, PPC and conversion rate optimisation services.

Subscribe to our blog and get the latest industry-updates direct to your inbox