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Yahoo! report! shows! French! Govt! account! data! request! boom!

Uptick may be tied to probes into Paris attacks

French law enforcement agencies have made around 600 additional requests for Yahoo! user account data in the wake of the Paris attacks.

The new Yahoo! transparency report reveals French agencies made 1686 requests pertaining to 1966 accounts in the six months to December last year.

That compares to 1008 agency requests for data linked to 1147 accounts in the six months to June.

Of the 1686 requests 480 were related to registration and billing information referred to as non-content data which includes alternative email addresses, name, location, and logged IP addresses.

Yahoo! rejected about 60 percent of the requests and could not find information on 11 percent.

The United States put in 4460 requests for 9373 accounts, the largest numbers of any country in the report.

That number related to 761 fewer requests for 949 more accounts than that requested by the US last year.

The United Kingdom put in 1945 requests related to 4827 accounts, compared to the six months previous in which 1700 requests were submitted for 3535 accounts.

Australia increased its submissions from 315 for 340 accounts in early 2015, to 401 requests for 562 accounts.

Yahoo!'s head of global law enforcement Chris Madsen linked the jump in requests to terrorism.

"The last six months of 2015 encompassed a number of tragic terrorist attacks, including in Paris, France.

"While correlation does not establish causation, we noted a significant increase in the number of requests we received from the French Government during the time period."

He says it is the first time it could show that US national security requests were lower than 499 requests. Prior recent US reforms those requests would range between zero and 999 requests.

"While this is far from perfect, the narrower reporting band represents a hard fought victory to ensure we can share an increasing level of transparency with our users," he says. ®

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