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Microsoft: We Offer Up User Data To Law Enforcement 2 Percent of the Time 54

Nerval's Lobster writes "In its second announcement of the kind, Microsoft revealed [Friday] that it received more than 37,000 requests for information on customers of its Skype, Azure and other services from law enforcement agencies around the world. The count does not include requests made using "National Security Letters" issued by the FBI or other U.S. federal agencies that have the force of a warrant or subpoena, albeit without the oversight or control provided by the courts that issue those sorts of orders. During the first six months of 2013, Microsoft received 37,196 requests that covered a total of 66,539 customer accounts. The company refused to provide any information in response to 21 percent of those requests. It provided "non-content data" in response to 77 percent of the requests – non-content data usually includes information such as names or basic subscriber information rather than information on the content of messages or other details describing online activity of those customers. In 2.19 percent of cases, however, Microsoft reports having provided "customer content data" – which includes the content of messages or data stored in accounts owned by Microsoft companies. Ninety-two percent of requests for customer content came from U.S. law-enforcement agencies."
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Microsoft: We Offer Up User Data To Law Enforcement 2 Percent of the Time

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  • MShafted (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrDoh! (71235) on Saturday September 28, 2013 @07:29AM (#44978391) Homepage Journal
    Amazing how they thought the Scroogled attack ads were a good idea when they're handing nearly everything over too.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 28, 2013 @07:40AM (#44978415)

    What the summary actually says is that they offer up user data to law enforcement 77% of the time.

  • Note the wording. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 28, 2013 @07:43AM (#44978431)

    I've never heard the expression "customer content data" before. It seems to exclude metadata, which is one of the major things that the NSA spectacle is about.

    Basically, given the things they cannot say anything about (even to deny), it's fairly clear that Microsoft is handing everything over to the NSA (which isn't a law-enforcement agency, you'll note) using an automated mechanism. Probably one that the NSA constructed themselves, having access to everything Microsoft has and is (also known as "full coöperation").

  • by guanxi (216397) on Saturday September 28, 2013 @07:55AM (#44978475)

    Even Slashdot's editors don't know the value of metadata, calling it "non-content data", at least on the front page post? Click through the link and read the sub-headline: "Microsoft provided metadata in 77 percent of more than 37,000 law-enforcement requests for information".

    Your metadata is as valuable as the content []. Otherwise, why would the NSA and Facebook invest so much in it?

  • by nojayuk (567177) on Saturday September 28, 2013 @08:02AM (#44978507)

    Which part of "from law enforcement agencies around the world" did you fail to notice? American, are you?

  • by gl4ss (559668) on Saturday September 28, 2013 @08:27AM (#44978599) Homepage Journal

    what it _actually_ means is that 77% of the time law enforcement has bothered to go through the legal track and 23% of the time it's just some duud agent/officer calling MS up "hey givez data!".

    and in 2% of cases they requested content data.

    however - this is just the LEGALLY requested data - relating to just normal legal police work, like for finding address of some blackmailer and what have you. there can be no mention of the intercepts they're not allowed to talk that even happened... so that data is NOT in these stats so these stats are just smokescreen. the metadata dumps are an entirely different animal!

  • by zippthorne (748122) on Saturday September 28, 2013 @09:34AM (#44978943) Journal

    And if you had broken the law by giving them the data, would you subsequently have been under investigation?

    Are your choices basically,

    1. Refuse without a court order, the legally correct thing to do, earning their ire and petty retributive investigations of yourself later
    2. Give them the data when they ask, regardless of court order, opening yourself up to prosecution for that very act?

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