Yahoo Wins Court Battle on Data Collection

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While most of the public has been made aware of the government’s data collection process thanks to documents leaked by Eric Snowden, nobody truly knows exactly how the process works. A recent court battle won by Yahoo may shine at least a little bit of light on this, however.
The Issue at Hand
The United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees government spy requests, ruled in favor of Yahoo. Back in 2008, Yahoo was forced to hand customer data that it had privately collected over to the government under the terms of the until-recently secretive NSA program.
Yahoo, of course, complied at the time, but has sought to make the information regarding the 2008 available to the public. Within the coming weeks, the government is to decide what information should be declassified and released to the public.
The Public Wants to See Government Transparency
The ruling comes at a time in which the general public is starting to distrust the government once again. The floodgates opened at the beginning of June, when Snowden leaked information to the Washington Post and UK-based Guardian. Under the secret program, the NSA has unfiltered access to email, phone records, and text messages records of technology companies throughout the country.
Aside from Yahoo, other notable companies forced to comply with government requests for customer information include Google, Microsoft, and Facebook. Each company has stated that, while they did release customer records to the government, they only did so when they were faced with no other choice.
What Does It All Mean?
Until now, all NSA-related information has been sealed, but Yahoo has been determined to have the information regarding their particular situation released to the public. Yahoo hopes that this is just the first step towards a more transparent government.
While President Obama and his administration have suggested that the purported invasion of privacy has been overblown by the media and is a necessary means of increasing national security, it is the secretive nature of the program which has made a majority of the American uneasy. While the jury is still out regarding the effectiveness and morality of the program, the release of such documents will provide more clarity and result in a more informed public.
While most of the public has been made aware of the government’s data collection process thanks to documents leaked by Eric Snowden, nobody truly knows exactly how the process works. A recent court battle won by Yahoo may shine at least a little bit of light on this, however.
The Issue at Hand
The United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees government spy requests, ruled in favor of Yahoo. Back in 2008, Yahoo was forced to hand customer data that it had privately collected over to the government under the terms of the until-recently secretive NSA program.
Yahoo, of course, complied at the time, but has sought to make the information regarding the 2008 available to the public. Within the coming weeks, the government is to decide what information should be declassified and released to the public.
The Public Wants to See Government Transparency
The ruling comes at a time in which the general public is starting to distrust the government once again. The floodgates opened at the beginning of June, when Snowden leaked information to the Washington Post and UK-based Guardian. Under the secret program, the NSA has unfiltered access to email, phone records, and text messages records of technology companies throughout the country.
Aside from Yahoo, other notable companies forced to comply with government requests for customer information include Google, Microsoft, and Facebook. Each company has stated that, while they did release customer records to the government, they only did so when they were faced with no other choice.
What Does It All Mean?
Until now, all NSA-related information has been sealed, but Yahoo has been determined to have the information regarding their particular situation released to the public. Yahoo hopes that this is just the first step towards a more transparent government.
While President Obama and his administration have suggested that the purported invasion of privacy has been overblown by the media and is a necessary means of increasing national security, it is the secretive nature of the program which has made a majority of the American uneasy. While the jury is still out regarding the effectiveness and morality of the program, the release of such documents will provide more clarity and result in a more informed public.

 

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