Report: Yahoo Challenged PRISM In 2008

When Yahoo refused to help the government spy on foreign users, it forced the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to compel the company and others like it to either turn over user data or break the law, the New York Times reported Thursday.

A heavily redacted 2008 court ruling shows that an internet company argued FISA requests constituted unreasonable search and seizure of its users’ data protected by the Fourth Amendment. Sources confirmed to the Times that Yahoo was the petitioner in that case. 

The court wrote that “notwithstanding the parade of horribles trotted out by the petitioner, it has presented no evidence of any actual harm, any egregious risk of error, or any broad potential for abuse,” adding “efforts to protect national security should not be frustrated by the courts.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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