Yahoo Fined By Belgian Court For Refusing To Give Up E-Mail Account Info

A court in Dendermonde, Belgium, today found Internet company Yahoo guilty of withholding personal account information linked to Yahoo e-mail addresses. The court told the company to cough up a €55,000 fine right away and an additional €10,000 for each day it keeps refusing to hand over the user data. (or $69,197 and $12,590, respectively)

(Update: statement from Yahoo below)

Yahoo got fined for its unwillingness to cooperate in a cyber-criminal investigation which prompted Belgian authorities to subpoena detailed account data for a number of e-mail addresses used by a gang of alleged internet cons. Yahoo’s defense was that it would only respond to requests from American authorities, while the Belgian investigators claim it should turn over the data at their request too because the company operates its services in Belgium. Also worth noting is that the judge is being quoted as saying that this procedure for requesting data “poses absolutely no problem with Google and Microsoft”.