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Yahoo wins motion to declassify documents following NSA PRISM debacle

On earnings eve, Yahoo is working to clean up its image as far as the PRISM scandal goes.
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Written by Rachel King, Contributor on

Yahoo has won a minor battle in its effort to clear up its name, following the news about its involvement in the NSA debacle.

To recall, the search company was one of the nine Silicon Valley giants listed as sources for data mining by the National Security Agency (NSA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

There has been a flurry of accusations, denials, and more tossed between these companies and the federal agencies.

Many of them (notably Google, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft) have publicly denounced the PRISM program revealed through PowerPoint slides leaked to The Guardian and The Washington Post by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who is now on the run.

These companies have also denied any direct involvement, or "back door" to user data — a catchphrase that has been debated by both sides of the fence, as well as within the media.

Yahoo took things a step further, petitioning the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in Washington, D.C., to declassify documents from a specific classified case in 2008.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, Yahoo argued those files would reveal that the technology company "objected strenuously" to federal demands for consumer data, thus demonstrating its interest in defending user privacy above all else.

We should find out soon enough how accurate that picture is, given that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court returned with a directive in Yahoo's favor on Monday.

Basically, the U.S. government has until the end of the month to report back on when it will be able to complete its review of the documents in order to declassify them, as well as redact any portions that might be deemed too sensitive still for public knowledge.

To read the entire order, scroll through the document below.

RE: Directive pursuant to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act

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