Secret court opens door to unsealing Yahoo! documents

Jul 16, 2013
The secret US court overseeing national security investigations has opened the door to declassifying documents related to the government's data collection program in a case involving Internet giant Yahoo!

The secret US court overseeing national security investigations has opened the door to declassifying documents related to the government's data collection program in a case involving Internet giant Yahoo!

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, in a document released Monday, said the government should review which documents should be declassified and inform the court of its decision by July 29.

The case dates back at least to 2008, when the court issued an order reportedly requiring Yahoo! to allow the government to obtain access to customer data. The Justice Department took "no position" on the request, according to the court document.

Judge Reggie Walton said the Justice Department should address the matter with "priority."

Yahoo! asked the court on June 14 to release documents about the program, shortly after revelations of the vast data collection program known as PRISM.

Other Internet companies including Google and Microsoft have also sought declassification of documents.

The companies have stated they release information only in response to specific court orders, and claim that reports about providing easy access to US authorities are exaggerated.

Yahoo! welcomed the judge's order.

"We're very pleased with the decision by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) ordering the government to conduct a declassification review of the Court's Memorandum of Opinion of April 25, 2008, as well as the legal briefs submitted," a Yahoo! statement said.

"Once those documents are made public, we believe they will contribute constructively to the ongoing public discussion around online privacy."

Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and other top Internet and technology companies have come under heightened scrutiny since word leaked of the vast, covert Internet US authorities insist targets only foreign terror suspects and has helped thwart attacks.

Explore further: IBM dips into Twitter stream for business insights

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Yahoo seeks to reveal its fight against NSA Prism requests

Jul 12, 2013

In a rare legal move, Yahoo Inc. is asking a secretive U.S. surveillance court to let the public see its arguments in a 2008 case that played an important role in persuading tech companies to cooperate with a controversial ...

Google asks US secret court to lift gag order (Update)

Jun 18, 2013

Google on Tuesday sharply challenged the U.S. government's gag order on its Internet surveillance program, citing what it described as a constitutional free speech right to divulge how many requests it receives ...

Apple releases details on US data requests

Jun 17, 2013

US tech giant Apple revealed on Monday it received between 4,000 and 5,000 data requests in six months from US authorities, days after Facebook and Microsoft released similar information.

US intelligence chief backs Internet spy program

Jun 09, 2013

The top U.S. intelligence official stressed Saturday that a previously undisclosed program for tapping into Internet usage is authorized by Congress, falls under strict supervision of a secret court and cannot ...

Recommended for you

HTML5 reaches 'Recommendation' status

17 hours ago

W3C stands for World Wide Web Consortium, and the W3C HTML Working Group is responsible for this specification's progress. As the title suggests, they have a far-reaching job of watching out for the progress ...

Online dating service admits to fake profiles

19 hours ago

A British-based online dating service admitted to US regulators Wednesday that it created fake, computer-generated profiles to lure users into upgraded memberships.

NY voters to decide on digital legislation

Oct 28, 2014

If New York voters approve proposition No. 2 on the ballot next week, their 213 legislators will join the digital age. Their desks in the ornate chambers of the Capitol will have computers instead of thick stacks of bills ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.