Microsoft Releases Details Of Law Enforcement Requests

from the good-move dept

Kudos to Microsoft for joining companies like Google and Twitter in releasing transparency reports about government/law enforcement requests for information. On Thursday, Microsoft released data on law enforcement requests from 2012. The report covers requests for pretty much all of Microsoft’s key online services, including Hotmail/Outlook, SkyDrive, XBox Live, Office 365 and even Skype. Microsoft has actually gone a step further than others in some areas, such as separating out which law enforcement requests involved sharing “customer content” data (such as images or email subject lines) vs. those that shared “non-content” data (such as identifying information).

Because of this distinction, Microsoft points out how rarely it ends up giving law enforcement customer content, noting it happened in only 2.1% of cases (1,558 requests). Nearly all of those requests came from the US government. The only non-US requests that resulted in the sharing of customer content were 14 disclosures given to Brazil, Ireland, Canada and New Zealand.

As for non-content information (i.e., identifying info), Microsoft disclosed that information 56,388 times (excluding Skype, which reported its data separately due to differences in the way they recorded data — something that is being standardized). The top countries getting such info were the US, UK, Turkey, Germany and France. Turkey seems a bit surprising there. As for Skype, the top requests were from the UK, US, Germany, France and Taiwan. Microsoft also delivered no information at all 18% of the time, either because the company rejected the request or because no info was found, though they apparently don’t break down the difference there.

Like Google, Microsoft also revealed how many National Security Letters it received, using a format nearly identical to the way Google released its data not too long ago:

It’s good to see Microsoft following in the footsteps of Google and Twitter in providing this kind of transparency. Hopefully we’ll see even more companies follow as well.

Filed Under: , , ,
Companies: microsoft, skype

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Microsoft Releases Details Of Law Enforcement Requests”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
out_of_the_blue says:

Re: Re: Mike, you're making Google jealous

Say, “Alana”, this IS a coincidence, you commenting. I drew you out to make an account and your very first post! Nov 27th, 2012 @ 7:26pm. Thanks for your homage to my influence. You’re not much more than a one-liner, though. — But DULL, that’s a start.

So I totally own this item at the moment! Without me, Mike wouldn’t have ANY comments here yet. Just the outright ape and snippy you whom I both compell to sheer ad hom!

That’s my function for Mike. He and I have a deal: he puts out obvious tripe and I expose it. Gives the fanboy-trolls an “enemy”, drama to spice up their lives. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, Mike and I are free to hang out and laugh how we’re gulling the rubes.

out_of_the_blue says:

Re: Mike, you're making Google jealous

Say, this is almost good for FAKE out_of_the_blue! Admit that I snorted. It’s nothing but a one-liner, though, and with sleazy innuendo that would never occur to me, mentions a “sport” without deriding it, besides is random and generic. You need to work on substance: to hang your barbs on some definite real hook. And be DULL: we’re not here to entertain the fanboys.

Aping my screen name is a subtle but good stab at Techdirt fanboy-trolls who have nothing to say without copying. You need to study me further to better imitate, and keep trying to understand me, so read over and over. As you progress in aping me, you’ll more and more be actually doing for me. — In other words, I own you, you’re nothing without my vital spark, a virtual (but totally autonomous) sock-puppet.

out_of_the_blue says:

Limited hangout. That means revealing some to hide worse.

“Kudos to Microsoft for joining companies like Google and Twitter in releasing transparency reports about government/law enforcement requests for information.”

First, of course we have only the word of spokes-droids for power-mad corporations which are all visibly enmeshed with gov’t. They can’t be trusted an inch, and less when so visibly to corporate benefit besides quelling worries over gov’t spying.

But gives Re-write Mike chance for another puff piece. And I’d say from the wild response — 2 comments in nearly 2 hours as I write — that’s generally agreed.

Lamely winding up a day in which Mike trotted out no less than FOUR major long pieces that attempt to shore up from major defeats yesterday as to how he’s been right all along and industries are at last beginning to take his advice. HA.

Ninja (profile) says:

I’m surprised. I honestly did not expect M$ to join this nice initiative. Puts the US in very bad light yet again.

I wonder if the content released included Skype conversation. There are all sorts of conspiracy theories out there that Skype has a backdoor so the Govt can spy on it whenever it wants. I’m no conspiracy nut and I do believe there are means to wiretap Skype but I don’t believe the Govt meddles whenever it wants. But if I ever find out they do I will not be surprised.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...