Microsoft, Yahoo!, others release FISA request data

Microsoft, Yahoo!, others release FISA request data

Summary: Along with Apple, Facebook, Google and LinkedIn, Microsoft and Yahoo! released data on the number of requests for account data and content they receive from the US government.

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Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft and Yahoo! have released additional data on government requests for user account data and content, pursuant to an agreement reached recently with the Department of Justice.

These are the announcements made by the various companies.

The agreement provides for two methods of reporting data, one in bands of 1000 and the other in bands of 250, each option with different rules. As described in our earlier report on the data released by Google, Facebook and LinkedIn, most of the companies have chosen the 1000 band option. In both cases, the data cannot be revealed until it is six months old.

The table below consolidate all the disclosed numbers from Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo. LinkedIn and Apple chose to use the alternate scheme, the numbers for which are below the table. Note that Google provided data beginning in January 2009, although we did not include it. You can find it in their announcement.

 FacebookGoogleMicrosoftYahoo!
FISA orders for content July – Dec 2011 not provided 0-999 0-999 not provided
Jan – June 2012 not provided 0-999 0-999 not provided
July – Dec 2012 0-999 0-999 0-999 not provided
Jan – June 2013 0-999 0-999 0-999 0-999
Accounts impacted by FISA orders for content July – Dec 2011 not provided 9,000 - 9,999 11,000-11,999 not provided
Jan – June 2012 not provided 8,000 - 8,999 11,000-11,999 not provided
July – Dec 2012 4,000 - 4,999 12,000 - 12,999 16,000-16,999 not provided
Jan – June 2013 5,000 - 5,999 9,000 - 9,999 16,000-16,999 30,000 - 30,999
FISA orders for non-content July – Dec 2011 not provided 0-999 0-999 not provided
Jan – June 2012 not provided 0-999 0-999 not provided
July – Dec 2012 0-999 0-999 0-999 not provided
Jan – June 2013 0-999 0-999 0-999 0-999
Accounts impacted by FISA orders for non-content July – Dec 2011 not provided 0-999 0-999 not provided
Jan – June 2012 not provided 0-999 0-999 not provided
July – Dec 2012 0-999 0-999 0-999 not provided
Jan – June 2013 0-999 0-999 0-999 0-999

Both Apple and LinkedIn chose the alternate reporting scheme in bands of 250. Under these rules, the companies must combine the numbers of FISA requests disclosed with those of National Security Letters (NSLs), another form of government request. The companies have already been releasing data on the NSLs and most re-released it in their announcements today, the links for which are above. This approach clearly would appeal to companies with small numbers of requests.

For the period January 2013 through June 2013, both Apple and LinkedIn received between 0 and 249 National Security orders affecting between 0 and 249 accounts.

Apple and LinkedIn also disclosed certain statistics about requests.

Topics: Government US, Privacy

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