Yahoo! has disclosed the number of government requests for data it has received over the past 18 months, becoming the latest tech company to do so after the fallout from the NSA spying scandal.
In a statement co-signed by CEO Marissa Mayer and Yahoo! general counsel Ron Bell, the company said that Yahoo! received 12,000 to 13,000 requests from FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) and U.S. law enforcement agencies during the period between December 1, 2012 and May 31, 2013.
Like other tech companies that have recently disclosed the number of U.S. law enforcement requests for data they have received, Yahoo! used its press release to reiterate that its commitment to user privacy, despite being implicated in PRISM.
“We’ve worked hard over the years to earn our users’ trust and we fight hard to preserve it,” Mayer and Bell said in the statement.
Facebook said on June 15 that for the six months ending December 31, 2012, it had received between 9,000 to 10,000 requests for data from U.S. law enforcement agencies. During that same period Microsoft received between 6,000 and 7,000 requests.
Google, on the other hand, has asked the U.S. government to be allowed to publish more information about national security requests it has been given. Google and Twitter (which have not yet revealed their data request numbers) have both criticized other tech companies for disclosing the number of data requests they received because their numbers do not break down the types of request made by type or government agency.
Yahoo!’s statement noted that “like all companies, Yahoo! cannot lawfully break out FISA request numbers at this time because those numbers are classified; however, we strongly urge the federal government to reconsider its stance on this issue.” The company said that most of the requests it received concerned fraud, kidnappings and other criminal investigations.
Yahoo! also stated that it will issue its first “global law enforcement transparency report” later this summer, which it will refresh with current statistics twice a year.