Yahoo wants the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to order the public release of a secret order in a 2008 surveillance dispute, as it will demonstrate that the Internet company “objected strenuously” to government directives.
The company said in a filing that disclosure of the information would show that it objected at every stage of the proceedings, but these objections were overruled and a stay denied. Yahoo like other electronic communications providers is under public pressure to provide more information about its response to U.S. government demands for user data, it said.
A number of Internet companies were charged in newspaper reports of providing real-time access to content on their servers to the U.S. National Security Agency under a surveillance program called Prism. The documents that formed the basis of these charges came from a former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden. The companies have denied their participation, and asked for greater transparency in the disclosure of data on government requests for customer information.
Making the FISC’s analysis available to the public in the 2008 case will provide the public with information about “how the parties and the Court vetted the Government’s arguments supporting the use of directives,” Yahoo’s attorneys said in the filing Tuesday.