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.

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Companies: yahoo

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Comments on “Yahoo Digs In Against Belgian Ruling Demanding User Info”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.

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