Microsoft reports law enforcement requests

March 21, 2013 at 7:49 PM
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REDMOND, Wash., March 21 (UPI) -- Microsoft says it received 75,378 law enforcement requests last year for customer information but disclosed "content" in only 2 percent of those cases.

The information was presented Thursday in Microsoft's "2012 Law Enforcement Requests Report," the first-ever such disclosure from the software giant covering its Hotmail,, SkyDrive, Xbox Live, Microsoft Account and Office 365 online services, CNET reported Thursday.

Microsoft said its report, to be updated every six months, follows the example set by online companies such as Google and Twitter, which have made similar disclosures.

"We've benefited from the opportunity to learn from them and their experience, and we seek to build further on the industry's commitment to transparency by releasing our own data today," Microsoft's general counsel, Brad Smith, said in a blog post.

Of all the law enforcement requests, only 1,558 resulted in the disclosure of customer content, Microsoft said.

Microsoft said it distinguishes "content," such as the subject line and body of an email message or a picture stored on its cloud service, from "non-content" such as an email address or personal information such as names, country of residence, gender or IP addresses.

"Microsoft is committed to respecting human rights, free expression, and individual privacy," Smith wrote.

"Like every company, we are obligated to comply with legally binding requests from law enforcement, and we respect and appreciate the role that law enforcement personnel play in so many countries to protect the public's safety."

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