Microsoft releases ‘Law Enforcement Requests Report’ for January to June 2014, notice anything?
Microsoft has released their latest ‘Law Enforcement Requests Report.’ Microsoft launched this report last year to bring transparency regarding demands by law enforcement to access their customer data. They release new numbers every six months, and they now have three reports you can compare.
From January to June, 2014 Microsoft received a total of 34,494 requests concerning 58,562 accounts. From July to December 2013 they received 35,083 requests concerning 58,083 accounts, and from January to June 2013 they received 37,196 requests concerning 66,539 accounts. This is a sample of the comparisons you can do.
I personally noticed the change in percentage of demands that were rejected. Over time it went from 2.4% to 3.4%, and now at 5.91%. To me this hints at Microsoft getting better at fighting the government over their users’ privacy. However, with three data points it’s hard to draw conclusions. In fact, the US numbers jump from 8.4% to 3.86% to 13.4% for requests rejected.
You can look at their report here for yourself. There are tabs to switch between years (reports). Under that, you have the countries for which the report is available, and you can click on a name to get numbers just for one country — it is default at ‘All.’ Under this, you will see a chart with the data and a FAQ if you have questions.
The United States also issues Microsoft with requests under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) for business records, pen and trap, and trace records. These are given a different report. All we know that the number of demands was between 0 and 999. However, the accounts being impacted has been increasing from 11,000 to 11,999 to 18,000 to 18,999. You can find the report here.
Feel free to look through the reports and talk about your findings in the comments below! Hopefully as these reports accumulate, we will be able to see patterns and use this data to fight for more transparency.Further reading: Government, Microsoft, Security