Yahoo wins lawsuit against FISA court

According to, Yahoo has won a lawsuit demanding the release of documents that it says will prove that Yahoo resisted a 2008 court order for Yahoo to hand over customer data to the government.

Search engine Yahoo has won a court case to release NSA records and potentially prove it resisted handing over customer data to US authorities. The ruling could clear Yahoo’s name following allegations it collaborated with the NSA to spy on citizens.

Recent revelations by Edward Snowden exposed the way government intelligence agencies have engaged in massive surveillance of personal communications.  Documents released by Snowden has essentially gutted personal privacy claims by internet service companies, so they are now scrambling to find a way to recover the trust of their customers, if only by claiming the government made them do it.

Staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Mark Rumold, expressed doubts over the government’s transparency.

“It remains to be seen how forthcoming (the government) will be. The administration has said they want a debate about the propriety of the surveillance, but they haven’t really provided information to inform that debate. So declassifying these opinions is a very important place to start,” Rumold told AP.

It is interesting to note that Yahoo’s lawsuit challenging the government’s secrecy was itself placed under a gag order.  Notwithstanding Obama’s claim to want a national debate about government surveillance, secrecy seems to always be the government’s first response to any potentially embarrassing challenge.