Yahoo issue NSA lawsuit over data request gag and reputational loss

Yahoo! has filed a lawsuit against the NSA, America’s Federal security service, alongside Microsoft and Google in a bid to overturn a gagging order which prevents it from publishing the number of requests for user data made of it.

The action follows a spate of revelations from whistleblower Edward Snowden, a situation which has forced Yahoo to act saying ‘witholding information breeds mistrust’.

In its lawsuit the internet firm declared: "Yahoo! has been unable to engage fully in the debate about whether the government has properly used its powers, because the government has placed a prior restraint on Yahoo!'s speech.

“Yahoo!'s inability to respond to news reports has harmed its reputation and has undermined its business not only in the United States but worldwide. Yahoo! cannot respond to such reports with mere generalities."

Both Microsoft and Google also claim their reputations are being tarnished by the constant drip of allegations and are demanding the right to publicly rebuke them.

All three firms state that they supply information to the NSA only when they are obligated to do so by law.

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