The U.S. government threatened to fine Yahoo $250,000 a day in 2008 if it failed to comply with a broad demand to hand over user communications — a request the company believed was unconstitutional — according to court documents unsealed Thursday that illuminate how federal officials forced American tech companies to participate in the National Security Agency’s controversial PRISM program.
The documents, roughly 1,500 pages worth, outline a secret and ultimately unsuccessful legal battle by Yahoo to resist the government’s demands. The company’s loss required Yahoo to become one of the first to begin providing information to PRISM, a program that gave the NSA extensive access to records of online communications by users of Yahoo and other U.S.-based technology firms.
It’s clear that NSA is out of control, and that since this story is from 2008, it’s a problem above and beyond partisan politics.
I’m not kidding when I say that the NSA needs to disbanded, and anyone currently there at GS-9 or above should be forbidden from working, directly or as a contractor, for its replacement agency.