Yahoo Prevails in Secretive Surveillance Court Battle


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The public is getting a broader glimpse at the still-secretive world of government data collection

Yahoo said Thursday it won release of 1,500 pages of documents filed in a secretive surveillance court. It said the documents stem from an unsuccessful lawsuit it brought in 2008 challenging the government’s right to demand user information.Yahoo Headquarters

“At one point, the U.S. Government threatened the imposition of $250,000 in fines per day if we refused to comply.”

— Ron Bell, Yahoo’s lawyer

The company won a victory last year when portions of previously-closed documents were ordered public. As it noted Thursday, disclosures from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court are “extremely rare.”

The documents are a public relations victory for Yahoo: They show it resisting orders to comply with the surveillance programs.

“Yahoo has not complied with the directives because of concerns that the directives require Yahoo to assist in conducting warrantless surveillance that is likely…

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