GOOGLE AND YAHOO HAVE RELEASED their government surveillance transparency reports for the second half of 2013.
The Google report details data requests from law enforcement agencies by country, and doesn't appear to present US government national security requests. It shows that US law enforcement agencies submitted the most requests by far for 10,574 users and 18,254 user accounts, and that Google produced at least some data for 83 percent of those requests. France was second with 2,750 requests, Germany was third with 2,660 requests, and India was fourth with 2,513 requests.
The Yahoo report is in two sections, one for data requests from law enforcement agencies by country and another, less informative one for US national security requests, along with two pages that address frequently asked questions (FAQs).
The US led the Yahoo law enforcement reqests too, with 6,587, followed by Germany with 3,186 user requests, Taiwan with 2,661, Italy with 1,909, France with 1,697 and the UK with 1,687.
US government national security requests under the jurisdiction of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court are redacted with the explanation "Data Subject to Government-Imposed, Six-Month Reporting Delay", while the data on National Security Letters submitted by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) revealed that Yahoo received "0-999" requests for "1,000-1,999" accounts.
We should note that these transparency reports cover only data that was obtained through formal requests, and that the US National Security Agency (NSA) has programmes for 'upstream' collection of internet and phone call data that collect far more information than these report figures might suggest. µ
It's time for our regular two-step through the Google news
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