A Belgian court on Tuesday fined Internet search engine Yahoo! 55,000 euros (69,300 dollars) for failing to hand over personal details of users suspected of committing fraud.
Daily fines of 10,000 euros (12,590 dollars) were to be added for non-compliance.
In an enquiry into fraud carried out by people using pseudonyms in Yahoo! email addresses, the prosecutor had called on Yahoo to provide the true identity of the suspected cyber criminals.
California-based Yahoo! refused, arguing that it was a US company and therefore such information would have to be requested through US authorities. […]
Yahoo! is basing its defense on a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty between Belgium and the United States.
The treaty is intended to “improve the effectiveness of judicial assistance” by having designated authorities, usually respective justice departments, work out legal matters such as producing evidence across borders, according to the US Department of State website. […]
Yahoo! plans an immediate appeal based on the grounds the court does not have jurisdiction over the California firm’s US operations and the prosecutor is dodging an international treaty crafted to deal with such cases.