Yahoo Transparency Report – All Requests from Belgium rejected

Yahoo released its Transparency report covering the number of government requests for user data.

Requests from Belgium to Yahoo

In 2014 the Belgian government requested 5 times user data from Yahoo for 17 accounts. All these requests were rejected by Yahoo.

  • 5 “Government Data Request”, meaning a government agency seeking information about Yahoo accounts. These are generally made in connection with criminal investigations.
  • 17 “Government Specified Accounts”, meaning the number of Yahoo accounts, users, or other unique identifiers.
  • Yahoo “Rejected” all 5 requests.
  • Yahoo returned 0 replies or “No Data Found” because no responsive data could be found.

The rejected cases were either because no data was found because of a defect, because the request was not legal or because the request was withdrawn. See further down this post for a complete definition.

Netherlands, France, Germany and United Kingdom

All the requests coming from the Netherlands were rejected. France and Germany had above 60% of their requests rejected and 53% of the requests coming from the United Kingdom were rejected.


Compared to the rest of the world 49% of the requests from Europe were rejected. The numbers for the United States do not include emergency requests and U.S. national security requests.

Other countries

Yahoo did not receive requests from Luxembourg. Yahoo received 4814 requests for 7952 accounts from Taiwan and only 281 requests were rejected.

The number of requests for Taiwan is high if you compare this to the number of internet users. There are 18,687,942 internet users as of Dec 31, 2013 in Taiwan. The same source returns 582,441,059 users in Europe and 277,436,130 users in the United States.

Emergency requests

Yahoo received 88 emergency requests in the first part of 2014 and 147 emergency requests in the second part of 2014. In total Yahoo received 235 emergency requests for 305 accounts.

Yahoo definitions

No Data Found: Yahoo produced no data in response to the Government Data Request because no responsive data could be found (i.e., the account didn’t exist or there was no data for the date range specified by the request).

Rejected: Yahoo may have possessed data responsive to the Government Data Request, but none was produced because of a defect or other problem with the Government Data Request (e.g., the government agency sought information outside its jurisdiction or the request only sought data that could not be lawfully obtained with the legal process provided). This category also includes Government Data Requests that were withdrawn after being received by Yahoo. We carefully review Government Data Requests for legal sufficiency and interpret them narrowly in an effort to produce the least amount of data necessary to comply with the request.

NCD: Non-content data such as basic subscriber information including the information captured at the time of registration such as an alternate e-mail address, name, location, and IP address, login details, billing information, and other transactional information (e.g., “to,” “from,” and “date” fields from email headers).

Content: Data that our users create, communicate, and store on or through our services. This could include words in a communication (e.g., Mail or Messenger), photos on Flickr, files uploaded, Yahoo Address Book entries, Yahoo Calendar event details, thoughts recorded in Yahoo Notepad or comments or posts on Yahoo Answers or any other Yahoo property.

Government Data Request: Legal process to a Yahoo entity from a government agency seeking information about Yahoo accounts and/or the activity of Yahoo users within Yahoo products. The Government Data Requests reflected in this report are generally made in connection with criminal investigations.

Government Specified Accounts: The number of Yahoo accounts, users, or other unique identifiers listed in a Government Data Request. This number is typically larger than the number of users and accounts actually involved because: 1) a single account may be included in more than one Government Data Request; 2) an individual user may have multiple accounts that were specified in one or more Government Data Requests; and 3) if a Government Data Request specified an account that does not exist, that nonexistent account would nevertheless be included in our count of Government Specified Accounts.

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