Government threatened Yahoo with $250K daily fine if it didn’t use PRISM

Posted by K R on

Yahoo reports that it is on the verge of releasing 1,500 pages of documents related to a long court battle over its participation in the PRISM program, a National Security Agency program revealed last summer as part of the Snowden leaks. A leaked top-secret slide about PRISM shows that Yahoo was one of the first participants, having begun contributing to the database in March of 2008. It did so under severe duress. Company executives believed the government's demand for data was "unconstitutional and overbroad" and fought it in court. "Our challenge, and a later appeal in the case, did not succeed," explained Yahoo General Counsel Ron Bell in a blog post published today. "The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC)... ordered us to give the U.S. Government the user data it sought in the matter." After it lost, Yahoo was threatened with $250,000 per day fines if it didn't comply with the program. Not only that, but the government got permission to share the ruling with other companies in order to put pressure on them as well, according to a just-published story by The Washington Post. Ultimately, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, YouTube, Skype, AOL, and Apple would all participate in PRISM. via Ars Technica.

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