September 11, 2014 Last Updated 4:57 pm

Yahoo reveals U.S. government once threatened to fine company $250,000 per day

Yahoo wins fight to open some FISC records to the public to reveal its side in losing battle to fight government’s requests for user data

The Yahoo Global Public Policy blog on Tumblr has revealed today that the U.S. government once threatened the online media property with massive fines as part of the government’s attempt to fight requests for user data. Yahoo has successfully sought to have some of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) records opened up to the public.

“A decision to open FISC or FISC-R records to the public is extremely rare. Now that the FISC-R has agreed to unseal the proceedings at our request, we are working to make these documents available,” the company said.

The secret papers, amounting to about 1,500 pages of material, involve Yahoo’s challenge during 2007 and 2008 to challenge the expansion of U.S. surveillance laws.

“Our challenge, and a later appeal in the case, did not succeed. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) upheld the predecessor to Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act. The Court ordered us to give the U.S. Government the user data it sought in the matter.”

To make Yahoo comply with its requests for information, Yahoo claims that the U.S. government threatened to impose fines of $250,000 per day. Ultimately, Yahoo lost its case and was forced to provide user data to the government.

“Users come first at Yahoo. We treat public safety with the utmost seriousness, but we are also committed to protecting users’ data. We will continue to contest requests and laws that we consider unlawful, unclear, or over broad,” Yahoo said.

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