Yahoo Releases First Global Law Enforcement Data Request Transparency Report
As you might expect, the report includes national security requests. Here's the bottom line from Yahoo: "For each country in this Transparency Report, we show the number of government data requests that we received during the reporting period and how we handled such requests. The total number of accounts specified in these government data requests during the reporting period comprised less than one one-hundredth of one percent of Yahoo users worldwide."
The company plans to issue new, updated reports every six months, and it has clarified that it is not in any program that "volunteers" user data to the government; the government has to come asking, and they need a legal reason to do it. Ron Bell, General Counsel at Yahoo, noted the following: "You will also see the number of accounts specified in these government data requests, which comprised less than one one-hundredth of one percent (<.01%) of our worldwide user base."
That's a tiny, tiny number in the grand scheme of all users, but privacy is an issue where it's really all or nothing. Either you trust a company to value every single member the same, or they have no ground to stand on. Hopefully, being more open about this will also force the government to think twice before blindly going after material that they probably shouldn't be leafing through.