Yahoo! Fought Back Against PRISM, Lost In Secret Ruling (Techdirt)
Monday June 17th, 2013
As more and more details come out about PRISM, it appears that the attention and blame really belongs on the government, rather than the tech companies (for the most part). While it was known that an unnamed company had fought back against FISA Court orders back in 2008, the name of the company was not known. However, now the NY Times is reporting that Yahoo! fought back against being told to provide info on users, until the court ruled against them -- and the ruling (as an unnamed company and with details heavily redacted) was then released to put other companies on notice that they, too, had to comply. The rubber stamp FISA Court insisted that there was nothing wrong with the requests, saying that Yahoo's concerns were "overblown."
“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,” the court said, adding that the government’s “efforts to protect national security should not be frustrated by the courts.” As the article points out, Google and Twitter have also fought back against various attempts by the federal government to reach deep into their databases -- and, in both cases, have lost those lawsuits.
Of course, it appears that some companies, like Microsoft and the telcos are much more comfortable with providing info to the government.
It really seems like the focus of concern should very much be on the government's requests here, as well as the secret FISA court and its rubber stamp, given that companies that have tried to fight back against the government keep losing.