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Microsoft Says US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Requests More Than Doubled (reuters.com) 42

Microsoft Corp says it received at least a thousand surveillance requests from the U.S. government that sought user content for foreign intelligence purposes during the first half of 2016. From a report: The amount, shared in Microsoft's biannual transparency report, was more than double what the company said it received under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) during the preceding six-month interval, and was the highest the company has listed since 2011, when it began tracking such government surveillance orders. The scope of spying authority granted to U.S. intelligence agencies under FISA has come under renewed scrutiny in recent weeks, sparked in part by evolving, unsubstantiated assertions from President Donald Trump and other Republicans that the Obama White House improperly spied on Trump and his associates.
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Microsoft Says US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Requests More Than Doubled

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  • by halivar ( 535827 ) <bfelger@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Friday April 14, 2017 @10:53AM (#54234447)

    First half: We are totes spying.
    Second half: Claims of spying are unsubstantiated.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The purpose is to show something unrelated and negative, then immediately shift to a comment about President Trump to establish some kind of false connection between the two. Bonus for throwing out words like "unsubstantiated assertions" and "scrutiny".

      It's basic persuasion.

      You literally have to read it over a couple of times to grasp that the article is really about President Obama's spying and has nothing to do with Trump.

      • You literally have to read it over a couple of times to grasp that the article is really about President Obama's spying and has nothing to do with Trump.

        Some might not want to remember who was in office in 2016.

  • by Alain Williams ( 2972 ) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Friday April 14, 2017 @10:53AM (#54234449) Homepage

    How many of those FISA requests were satisfied via Microsoft's telemetry capabilities ? Ie extract stuff directly from the Win 10 PC and send to the USA government ? I doubt that we shall ever know.

    • That has already been deemed (in their words) "utterly ridiculous" [voanews.com] and they do not have the capability......... And we believe that as much as the US three letter acronyms do not spy on their own citizens either (insert sarcasm here) or cause political unrest in countries they want to change.

      • That has already been deemed [...]

        Obviously, no one wants to admit to committing treason.

      • Utterly ridiculous you say?

        http://edition.cnn.com/2017/04... [cnn.com]

        • Did you read the article you link to? They were spying on the Russians when they intercepted communications from the Trump campaign. This hardly constitutes spying on Trump.

          • "passed Trump associates' communications with Russians on to US counterparts"

            See that part you missed?

            You think they were passing unmasked Trump communications to Obama for legitimate reasons? That's quite an assumption. Regardless, I thought it was denied that the British passed ANY Trump communications to Obama administration. Did they pass it to the NSA or directly to the Whitehouse? Lots and lots of questions.

            But the pattern is consistent - first deny that anything happened at all. Then admit something

  • by OYAHHH ( 322809 ) on Friday April 14, 2017 @12:26PM (#54234979) Homepage

    There really was no reason to include the Trump jab in the summary. If you look at the article the summary could have easily stopped at the paragraph prior to the one including the Trump jab.

    Based upon the comments I am seeing here it has skewed the commentary in a direction that doesn't add to the discussion.

    • by guises ( 2423402 )
      It seems like a pretty standard bit, attempting to add some context. Journalists often add some extra stuff in - ideally this is there to bring the uninformed up to speed, sometimes it's about adding detail to allow the reader to more closely relate to the subject (how often do you an article mention a person's age and occupation in contexts where those things are meaningless?), sometimes it's just there to fill some words.

      It's possible that this journalist was taking advantage of the opportunity to tak
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Oh wait....

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Wonder how many came @ our request (I.E. from US agencies asking for "intelligence sharing" to beat US rules)? E.G. - CIA (not supposed to do domestic US citizen surveillance) nor is the NSA (gov't. communique only domestically iirc ONLY w/ DOD)!

    Iirc, neither is supposed to spy on regular non-gov't. US folks (yet they do w/ their datafarm attached @ every telecom chokepoint)...

    I.E. - Are they simply asking GCHQ "spy on these US folks for us & 'share it' w/ us, please - thanks"??

    Bet they are.

    * What a CRO

  • ...oh that's right. Never mind. Ha! ;)

Nothing is finished until the paperwork is done.