Yahoo Digs In Against Belgian Ruling Demanding User Info

from the belgium-is-a-lot-smaller-than-china dept

Yahoo got into a lot of PR trouble (and some Congressional scrutiny) a few years back for its cooperation with the Chinese government in handing over info on some users. Folks at Yahoo have certainly suggested in the past that this was a mistake on the company's part, and it looks like it's acting differently this time around... in Belgium. There, a court has fined Yahoo for failing to hand over information on a user accused of illegal activities. Yahoo's response is that, as a US company, all such requests should go through the US. This makes a lot of sense for a variety of reasons (otherwise, Yahoo would be responding to requests from tons of different countries), but many may cynically point out that Belgium is a much smaller market to "fight" than China. On the whole, though, it seems that Yahoo is making the right move. If the data was being hosted in the US, then it only seems reasonable to suggest that the data is under US jurisdiction, not Belgium's.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Mar 3rd, 2009 @ 2:15pm

    Perhaps you have heard of yahoo.cn? I believe that Yahoo in China is partially owned by a chinese company, so they are operating directly in China. That would change everything, no?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Mar 3rd, 2009 @ 2:16pm

    Re:

    That would change everything, no?

    In Belgium?

    This post was about what they're doing in Belgium, not China.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    :Lobo Santo, Mar 3rd, 2009 @ 2:21pm

    Easy Solution

    Yahoo could take up a policy along the lines of:
    "User info? Naw, we don't have any."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2009 @ 2:30pm

    Re: Easy Solution

    "User info? Naw, we don't have any. Unless you want to purchase it..."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Mar 3rd, 2009 @ 3:14pm

    Re: Re:

    It just means Mike that their reaction in China would be different than their reaction in Belgium.

    Want to speculate on potenial market size differences too?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2009 @ 4:14pm

    belgians are champion yodlers so yahoo is important to them

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 3rd, 2009 @ 4:43pm

    Keepin Dr. Evil at bay, no more requests for "100 billion dollars"

    Belgium is where Dr. Evil came from, so this makes sense.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Cow, Mar 3rd, 2009 @ 6:19pm

    Harold is weird

    Harold is weird.

    The tone, the language ... reminds me of another poster from days gone by ........

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Mar 3rd, 2009 @ 6:25pm

    Geez

    Cynical, I may be. But when someone backs down from the seventh-grade bully, but stands up to that girl in kindergarten, I'm not impressed.

    OTOH, they're doing better than google, if only by a smidge.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    Allen (profile), Mar 4th, 2009 @ 12:22am

    I wouldn't take this as some sign that Yahoo are suddenly taking a stand for privacy. If Yahoo had an operating arm in Belgium and the request was lawful (under Belgian Law) then Yahoo would have handed the information over.

    The question of jurisdiction defined by borders on a network that mostly ignores them is not a new one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2009 @ 9:15am

    It cuts both ways

    Belgium isn’t doing anything that the US doesn’t do and hasn’t done itself. From Privacy International explains risks to census data by using U.S. contractor without strong protections:
    Information inaccessible to a U.S. party, or barred from disclosure by foreign law, still may be disclosed to U.S. law enforcement. Assuming a U.S. court or agency can gain jurisdiction, a five part balancing test determines whether the U.S. entity should be granted access to the requested information.
    …extra-territorial jurisdiction gives U.S. courts the authority to act against entities that are not in the U.S. as long as they are engaging in behavior that has an impact within the United States.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This