Yahoo Wins FISA Case, Govt Must Turn Over Docs on PRISM Suit

Company Wants Details of 2008 Lawsuit Made Public

With the NSA PRISM scandal growing, Yahoo finally won something of a moral victory in their ongoing FISA court battle with the US government, with the court agreeing that the secret details of a 2008 lawsuit about PRISM must be made public.

Yahoo got the court to declassify the fact that the case happened last month, though most of the details remain secret. Yahoo was forced to join the PRISM surveillance scheme in early 2008 as the result of the lawsuit, and the US government reportedly used Yahoo’s defeat in the secret case to convince other dotcoms to go along without challenging the demands in court.

Yahoo is hoping to show “how vehemently” they had objected to the wide-ranging surveillance of its customers, hoping that it will save its reputation after being outed last month as one of the “PRISM nine” companies.

The FISA court’s ruling could take awhile to implement, however, as they gave the US government until July 29 just to say “how long” it will take them to get around to releasing the data ordered.

It’s also not clear how much it will really help Yahoo’s public image, as their objections in 2008 don’t change the fact that they are known collaborators in the scheme now, albeit unwilling, and data on Yahoo servers must still be considered of questionable security.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of