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Yahoo wins ruling in data collection case

AAP/ AFR | July 16, 2013
Yahoo has won a court fight that could help the public learn more about the US government's efforts to obtain data from internet users.

Yahoo has won a court fight that could help the public learn more about the US government's efforts to obtain data from internet users.

The US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which reviews government requests to spy on individuals, ruled on Monday that information should be made public about a 2008 case that ordered Yahoo to turn over customer data.

The order requires the government to review which portions of the opinion, briefs and arguments can be declassified and report back to the court by July 29.

The government sought the information from Yahoo under the National Security Agency's PRISM data-gathering program. Details of the secret program were disclosed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who has fled the US.

The program came to light in early June after The Washington Post and Guardian newspapers published documents provided by Snowden.

It allows the NSA to reach into the data streams of US companies such as Yahoo, Facebook, Microsoft, Googleand others, and grab emails, video chats, pictures and more.

US officials have said the program is narrowly focused on foreign targets, and technology companies say they turn over information only if required by court order.

Yahoo requested in court papers filed June 14 to have the information about the 2008 case unsealed. A Yahoo spokeswoman hailed Monday's decision and said the company believes it will help inform public discussion about the US government's surveillance programs.

The government hasn't taken a position on whether details of the case should be published as long as it's allowed to review the documents before publication in order to redact classified information, according to the court order.

 

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