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Yahoo: US agencies request more data than any country

(Updates shares in last paragraph.)

Sept. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Yahoo! Inc. 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 Web portal provided some data to U.S. agencies in 92 percent of those cases, the Sunnyvale, California-based company said today 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 Inc., Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp., 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.

The company recently won a motion requiring the U.S. government to declassify court documents relating to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, he said. Yahoo didn’t say which U.S. government agencies requested the data.

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