Microsoft releases its biannual transparency reports

Microsoft today released its updated biannual reports on their Transparency Hub website. It includes the Law Enforcement Requests Report, U.S. National Security Orders Report and Content Removal Requests Report. Microsoft is also disclosing a National Security Letter (NSL) along with this release. Microsoft received this letter from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2014, which sought data belonging to a customer of their consumer services.

Highlights from the report,

  • During the latter half of 2016, Microsoft received a total number of 25,837 legal requests for customer information from law enforcement agencies. This brings the total number of requests from law enforcement for 2016 to 61,409, which is a decrease from 2015, when requests totaled 74,311.
  • A majority (71 percent) of the law enforcement demands Microsoft received during this period continued to come from a handful of countries, led by the U.S., United Kingdom, France and Germany.
  • For the latest Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) data reported, Microsoft received 1,000-1,499 FISA orders seeking content disclosures affecting 12,000-12,499 accounts, compared to the 0-499 FISA orders seeking disclosure of content impacting 17,500-17,999 accounts reported for the previous period. We received 0-499 National Security Letters in the latest reporting period, which remains unchanged from the previous period.

Read the full report here.

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