Status: Moving forward.
Yahoo (Round 1)
What it wanted: Not to participate in PRISM. Yahoo held out against participation in the government's PRISM data-collection-and-analysis system. In 2008, it filed a request with FISC to keep it from having to comply with the NSA's efforts.
What it got: As reported by The Times, the Court ruled against Yahoo.
The Yahoo ruling … shows the company argued that the order violated its users’ Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures. The court called that worry “overblown.”
“Notwithstanding the parade of horribles trotted out by the petitioner, it has presented no evidence of any actual harm, any egregious risk of error, or any broad potential for abuse,” the court said, adding that the government’s “efforts to protect national security should not be frustrated by the courts.”
Indeed, those efforts rarely have been so frustrated. The FISC rarely rejects government requests
Status: Closed; Yahoo lost.
Yahoo (Round 2)
What it wanted: To be publicly identified as the company involved in that 2008 fight.
What it got: After The Times report on the lawsuit last month, Yahoo asked the Court to unseal the details of the case, allowing it to admit to being the company that filed the suit. The Court agreed to do so.
Status: Closed; Yahoo won.
What it wants: The declassification of key FISC rulings.
What it's got: Two members of the House, Reps. Adam Schiff, Democrat of California, and Todd Rokita, Republican of Indiana, introduced a bill that would declassify rulings similar to the requests made by the ACLU and EFF. (Neither Schiff nor Rokita were parties to the ACLU amicus brief.
Status: The bill is queued for consideration in House committees. It has 17 cosponsors.
What it wants: Same as the House.
What it's got: Seven senators introduced similar legislation a week prior to the Schiff-Rokita bill. Its language echoes the amicus brief: "substantive legal interpretations of what the FISC says the law means should be made public."
Status: The bill is at the Judiciary Committee. It has twelve cosponsors, including the chair of that committee.
What he wants: A decent political outcome.
What he's got: The president is reportedly considering cutting to the chase on these various legal and legislative questions, and asking the FISC to release a redacted version of its opinions. Under certain scenarios, this would address the concerns of the legislators and organizations listed above. And it would provide the president with one of his few opportunities to demonstrate that he is sensitive to the concerns people have raised about the surveillance system his administration operates.
Status: It hasn't happened yet.
Photo: A woman on a cell phone walks past the building that houses the FISC. (AP)
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.