Court says Yahoo! can reveal details of fight against PRISM


Here’s one that’ll please the privacy advocates. A US court has ruled that the country’s Department of Justice (DoJ) must release classified documents which Yahoo! claims show that it fought back against a secret court order that forced it to hand over user data.

No ad to show here.

“The Government shall conduct a declassification review of this Court’s Memorandum Opinion of [Yahoo’s case] and the legal briefs submitted by the parties to this Court,” the ruling read.

According to the Daily Dot, the DOJ has two weeks to reveal exactly how long it will take to declassify the documents. The department also still has the right to redact any information it believes should remain classified.

Interestingly, the court that ruled in Yahoo!’s favour, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), is the same one that forced it to hand over the user data in the first place.

Like all the other companies involved in the PRISM scandal, Yahoo! denied that it had complied willingly with the state’s request for user data. “Yahoo! takes users’ privacy very seriously. We do not provide the government with direct access to our servers, systems, or network,” the company wrote at the time.

It did not however, address the legality of the demands, giving weight to the FBI’s claims that the PRISM’s use of the FISA system is entirely legal.

The internet giant’s decision to prove that it fought back though has drawn praise from advocacy groups, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which added that Yahoo!’s fight could prove positive for the image of the tech industry as a whole:

“Of course, it’s possible more companies have challenged this secret surveillance, but we just don’t know about it yet. We encourage every company that has opposed a FISA order or directive to move to unseal their oppositions so the public will have a better understanding of how they’ve fought for their users.”

The Daily Dot adds that this is only the second civilian victory in a FISA court, the first having been won by the EFF itself.

No ad to show here.



Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights. sign up

Welcome to Memeburn

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights.

Exit mobile version