Updated 10:09 a.m. PT with the correct number of government data requests. We apologize for the error.
Today Yahoo released its third transparency report, revealing 18,594 government data requests impacting 30,511 users.
The numbers above do not include secret requests approved by the FISA court. Yahoo details that from July 1, 2013, to December 31, 2013, it received between 0 and 1998 FISA requests for user data, affecting up to 54,997 users (including national security letters). Yahoo’s latest FISA data requests figure mirrors stats reported by the company from January 1, 2013 to June 30, 2013. However, in the first half of 2013 Yahoo reported up to 32,997 affected accounts, contrasting the 54,997 figure above.
If these stats strike you as vague, that’s intentional. And it’s troubling that the number of accounts potentially affected by FISA requests grew significantly over the course of a single period.
Overall, 41 percent of accounts affected by government data requests came from requests made by the U.S. government.
Yahoo shares that it received 5 content removal requests, three of which came from the U.S. government. Yahoo shares that these removal requests can occur “due to allegations of defamation, impersonation, or harassment, while others are due to allegations that the content violates local laws prohibiting hate speech or adult content.”