Government Surveillance Court Order to Yahoo Not Likely to be Declassified

Government Surveillance Court Order to Yahoo Not Likely to be Declassified

The secret court order issued to Yahoo that allowed the US government to obtain user data was presented as a national security issue. This means that the nature of the court order will remain a secret for the foreseeable future.

This is bad news for Yahoo users who hoped for some transparency regarding government surveillance of their accounts. US officials claim that the court order they issued Yahoo handled sensitive material with regards to national security and is unlikely to be released even in a declassified form, Reuters reported.

The court order was issued under Title I of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, according to Reuters. This implies that the target could have been an agent of a foreign power and gives the government the right to collect transmissions between foreign powers and their agents.

Title I is often used for wiretapping a phone number of specific email account. The surveillance of Yahoo is the first publicly known use of the email tap.

In response to the continued silence about the court order, 30 advocacy groups sent a letter to Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper, urging for the declassification of the search the government was conducting. Among them are the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Brennan Center, Human Rights Watch and numerous others.

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