back to article! frets! over! Yahoo! exodus! to! RIPA-free! Dublin!

Yahoo! was reportedly called into the Home Office on Thursday where Teresa May expressed UK government security concerns about its plans to move its main base in Europe to Ireland. The internet giant has harboured privacy concerns for some time, according to The Guardian. These concerns can only have been exacerbated by recent …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. NoneSuch Silver badge

    ...and there is is.

    The penny just dropped.

    "However, as Yahoo is a US company it will still be subject to US laws such as the Patriot Act and FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] which they will have to comply with."

    No matter where you live in this world, if you use American based services you are subject to US law.

    1. Gordon 10

      Re: ...and there is is.

      I would be interested to see what the definition of an American company is under the Patriot act.

      Its entirely possible that a Foreign Entity could have a very convoluted legal relationship (probably for tax purposes) with the US parent. I wonder if there is a level at which the local company can tell the US parent to get stuffed - whether just for forms sake - or in reality. Especially when you see the US companies licensing their IP to subsidiarys as a sneaky way of avoiding tax.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ...and there is is.

        I would be interested to see what the definition of an American company is under the Patriot act.

        The clean, fully legal explanation would be a company in the US or having a HQ in the US. If the HQ is not US, a US subsidiary can claim not to have the power to disclose data not in the US - but can still be forced to at least disclose what it holds on US soil, and whatever it can access. This is why you need to develop a full corporate strategy - it's not enough to have "an idea, you need to accurately know what you need to do, and it involves lawyers.

        However, that's just the start because this game isn't played clean or lawful. If a company is subject to any leverage from the US it will be used. US investors or relatives thereof can be threatened with IRS audits of themselves or their companies ad infinitum, or the Google archives are searched for some juicy data they can be blackmailed with. There are also reports in the wild about sysadmins who have been asked to give their local law enforcement a heads up when they go and visit data centres of their company abroad.

  2. NoneSuch Silver badge

    Or stated another way. No matter what your local privacy laws are, US law supersedes it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Actually it is "no matter what your laws are or what international law says. US law always supersedes it and you shall ignore and violate any international or local law if US law mandates it."

      I always find it funny when USA is bitching about international law when their legal statutes explicitly mandates that their courts and legal subjects ignore it.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At least that makes life a little trickier for one bunch of snoopers.

  4. Steve Knox

    The reasons [for moving to Ireland] have as much to do with access to a skilled pool of English-speaking technologists...

    Well, sort-of English speaking...

    1. deadlockvictim

      A part of the English-speaking world

      Reginald D. Hunter speaks Irish, well, the English that is spoken in Ireland.

  5. Roo

    It never made sense to me that the copyright infringement prosecutions appeared to target the small fry whereas folks like Yahoo and Google are (mostly) left alone by the authorities. I guess we now have a reason for it: the authorities value the mass surveillance opportunity more highly than keeping the record industry execs happy.

  6. Alexander Hanff 1

    Erm no it doesn't...

    "Ireland does not have a version of RIPA, but it is subject to the EU Data Retention Directive which requires all telcos and internet service providers to retain metadata on users phone calls, location (for mobile phones), and emails,"

    No it doesn't - the Data Retention Directive requires Communications Service Providers to retain meta data of emails (which is different to ISPs) and is a loophole used by online services (web mail for example) to avoid metadata retention (the Netherlands is one very good example of where the law does not classify a CSP as an ISP).

  7. Howard Hanek

    Wrong Move

    Perhaps in order to address privacy concerns Yahoo should move their European Hdqrs to Moscow or Sevastapol.

  8. psychonaut


    As title. I cant believe i even bothered to post.

  9. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge


    all to do with the tax rate... plus the EU does'nt give a fig about local subsiduary companies paying a "charge" to use the parents IP which results in 0 taxable profit in every EU country except the lowest rated one

    Wish I could set up a company to do that

  10. stupormundi

    Theresa "May" ...

    ... is made of pure evil. Every single thing she comes up with is so obviously horrendous. How does she bear the shame?

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      She's a Home Secretary

      It's job requirement to be evil.

      - And if you aren't evil enough when you start the job, the civil servants arrange for the ethicectomy to be performed while you're sleeping.

  11. unkNowners

    Enough with the exclamation points already

    Yahoo stopped using exclamation points in all non-graphical representations of the logo and name when the new logo was introduced.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Enough with the exclamation points already

      So! Why! Is! There! an! Exclamation! Point! On! The! Company! Logo! on! Yahoo! Dot! Com!?


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Enough with the exclamation points already

        Have the exclamatards come out of hibernation early this year?

  12. Vociferous

    Yahoo has always been the Ryanair of the net

    Cheap and nasty, you get what you paid for and no more (also applies to their free services).

    1. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: Yahoo has always been the Ryanair of the net

      Yahoo Finance and the Yahoo Weather app are pretty good. I use both of them quite frequently.

      1. Chris 171

        Re: Yahoo has always been the Ryanair of the net

        They ruined Flickr too fwiw.

        You only have to look at the derth of instapoladroidster apps/sites to see how badly they failed to innovate after the buy out. They had it all there ready to go...

  13. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    Dear UK guvmint:

    Due diligence doodz - due diligence.

    You have recourse to act with consultants and advisors of the time rather than dealing with organisations doing what is legal because of your lack of diligence and abundance of oversight.

    UKIP have got it wrong.

    Rather than Leave EU it should be: Leave EU and join RU?

  14. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    If the snooping is any part of the reason.....

    .... then only has itself to blame.

    Like with the NSA, the US and UK governments should be held account for their actions against the people, and of course,the 'bottom line' is the only place they can be touched.

    Of course the government loving 'sheeple' like Matt 'the world is full of paedophiles and terrorists' Briant won't agree...

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Speaking as a Yahoo employee...

    Firstly, Yahoo moving it's HQ to Dublin is nothing to do with operations per se. The former HQ was Switzerland, we left that because the tax advantages weren't good enough and came with too many caveats. Not a surprise to anyone with a brain, but the company was mainly run by the CFO at the time, so...

    Secondly, I suspect the usual deal has been done with the Irish government to move some operations to Dublin. However, just like the other companies that move there, Y! has realized already that the "pool of English speaking experts" is a tad smaller than advertised. I interviewed in Google IR for a job in Australia, and I met engineers from many countries...excluding Ireland. Importing talent is expensive!

    Thirdly, Y! UK will continue to comply with UK government court orders, just as it complies with Irish, German etc, just like any other company. Legally, Swiss government court orders have a bigger impact on privacy...

    1. 142

      Re: Speaking as a Yahoo employee...

      Yes. There would certainly be a lack of top level recent graduates with a couple years of experience at the moment.

      When the dotcom bubble crashed in the early 2000s college applications for IT courses in Ireland went to almost zero. This is possibly true in other parts of the world, but it was exceptionally true in Ireland as every top level technically minded school kid was told to do civil engineering (as "house prices are bound to keep rising 15% per year, and we're going to need hundreds of thousands more of them each year! that's going to be an amazing job to have when young billy will be graduating in 2010" - Idiot guidance counsellors...)

      I watched this happen to one flagship university IT degree I'm familiar with - it had a drop in applications of 95% between 2000 and the middle of the decade because of this. They had to resort to offering places in the newspaper to anyone who wanted one...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Speaking as a Yahoo employee...

        Having worked in IT in Ireland for 15 years, with the last 5 in management (lots of hiring), I can say that the smarter colleges and ITs have engaged with business to meet demand, so the quality of grads has improved. Also you're talking about a slump in course take up of only a few years. Given that Ireland is seen as a safe and pleasant place for English speakers from across Europe to come to, there's a large pool of European (and further) talent based in Ireland. And for new companies coming here, those not from Ireland may be easier to poach as they're less likely to have local family roots keeping them in their current location.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Speaking as a Yahoo employee...

      Legally, Swiss government court orders have a bigger impact on privacy...

      That's misleading and you know it.

      The Swiss approach to lifting privacy is (a) focused (no dragnets allowed) and (b) very contained when it comes who has access to the data. Oh, and ( c) requires evidence to SWISS standards in case of a request from another country.

      The only "bigger" impact is the work you have to put in if you're served with a warrant, because you have to (a) validate the warrant with your own lawyer so you don't violate privacy on a false basis, (b) provide access (but still avoid seeing the data yourself as that is a criminal offence), ( c) protect access to any other account (see the a-argument why) and ( d) roll back the clock if the intercept did not prove a crime in progress as Swiss law dictates that the rights of the so investigated user are fully restored (so no keeping data on file, like DNA in the UK).

      One could assume the move from Switzerland could be because it made it impossible to comply with intercept requests from the good 'ol US of A. Much easier to do the non nod wink wink from Ireland as it would involve at most a slap on the wrist, or employing the current Information Commissioner (like the one who didn't exactly deal with Facebook before then joining another very large company)..

  16. Mark 85

    Illuminate me... I have question or two...

    So they have issues with NSA and notably GHCQ grabbing data. Ok.. don't we all? Particularly the Yahoo Chat streaming files... and they think that moving to Ireland will solve that? How? I'm with El Reg and suspect it's just an excuse to make a run for a tax dodge.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. Chad H.

    Surely yahoos response should be "and that's our problem... How again?"

  18. maccy

    The move to Ireland is a ...

    ... cover story for tax avoidance

  19. cynic56

    Redefining Excellence!

    "Ireland is also rapidly becoming a centre of excellence for cyber security. This is due in part to the likes of ..... McAfee ...... being based here".

    Not convinced.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Redefining Excellence!

      Yes just like Grand Cayman is a center of excellence for OS development because Microsoft and HP and IBM are based there.And the Dutch Antilles are a center of excellence for flat pack furniture

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If she's so concerned................

    She should speak to Iain Duncan Smith, who's quite happy with -

    - storing JobSeeker's data on Amazon's Cloud in Eire.

    - running on US located servers.

    And why are signups for routed through Paris ?

  21. pacman7de
    Big Brother

    Police caught bugging Police Ombudsman ..

    "The relationship between police in the Republic of Ireland and the body that investigates complaints against officers has rarely been good.

    Now a row over possible bugging of the police watchdog has made it positively toxic.

    The row began when the Sunday Times reported that a hi-tech surveillance operation had been uncovered last year at the offices of the Garda Síochána (Irish police) Ombudsman Commission.

    The three-person commission, it revealed, had called in a British security consultancy to check its offices for bugs." link

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, if the Home Office is concerned, then it's probably a positive for civil liberties...

    These guys have been a perfect negative indicator for civil liberties for what now? At least since Blair came to power, and probably before that??

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just Crocodile Tears of the UK GCHQ thugs.

    All Yahoo is doing is moving to a slightly less intrusive country, because they have more morality, as shown by their earlier resistance to USA NSA thugs.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like