Microsoft received 400 requests from India for ID data

Microsoft received 400 requests from India for ID data

Summary: Indian law enforcement agencies last year sent Microsoft 418 requests for information on user accounts to assist investigation into criminal activities.

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Indian law enforcement agencies last year sent Microsoft 418 requests for information on user accounts to assist investigation into criminal activities. 

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Microsoft says it provided no content data to the Indian government.

The inquiries involved nearly 600 different accounts or IDs, but the U.S. tech giant did not provide content data in response to India's request, according to Microsoft

However, it handed over non-content data 88.5 percent of the time, and 1 percent of the time rejected requests because they did not meet legal requirements, the company said. For another 10.5 percent of the time, Microsoft was unable to locate any information for the user account specified by the Indian government. 

The government made 53 requests on data related to Skype, which Microsoft acquired in 2011, and these involved 101 user accounts. Requests from India, though, were fewer than those from other countries. 

According to Microsoft, U.S. law enforcement requests totaled 12,227 last year and affected 29,379 accounts including Skype. Worldwide, the vendor received 75,378 requests from various international law enforcement agencies. 

Excluding Skype, Redmond received the hightest number of requests from Turkey for data on e-mail accounts, at 11,434 and affecting 14,077 accounts. It was followed by the U.S. at 11,073 requests involving 24,565 accounts, Britain at 9,225 affecting 14.301 accounts, France at 8,603 requests and 17,973 accounts, and Germany at 8,419 and 13,226 accounts.

These stats come amid global concerns over revelation that the U.S. National Security Agency for years had been covertly mining data from nine Silicon Valley giants in an initiative dubbed PRISM. Microsoft earlier this week denied claims it gave the U.S. government the ability to bypass its e-mail and storage encryption or other security measures. 

In a blogpost on Wednesday, Microsoft's general counsel and exective vice president for legal and corporate affairs, Brad Smith, urged the U.S. government to allow Redmond, and other U.S. tech companies, to publicly share more information on how they handle national security requests. 

Smith said: "We believe the U.S. Constitution guarantees our freedom to share more information with the public, yet the government is stopping us. For example, government lawyers have yet to respond to the petition we filed in court on June 19, seeking permission to publish the volume of national security requests we have received. We hope the Attorney General can step in to change this situation."

While it awaits response from the U.S. government, Microsoft pledged to share as much data as it could, he said, noting "significant inaccuracies" in how leaked government documents had been interpreted. 

Topics: Security, Government Asia, Microsoft, Privacy, India

About

Eileen Yu began covering the IT industry when Asynchronous Transfer Mode was still hip and e-commerce was the new buzzword. Currently a freelance blogger and content specialist based in Singapore, she has over 16 years of industry experience with various publications including ZDNet, IDG, and Singapore Press Holdings.

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