Law Enforcement Requests Report

Microsoft’s Law Enforcement Requests Report– March 2014

Microsoft receives legal demands for customer data from law enforcement agencies around the world. In March 2013, as part of our commitment to increased transparency, Microsoft began publishing details of the number of demands we receive each year in our Law Enforcement Requests Report and clear documentation of our established practices in responding to government legal demands for customer data.

We update this report every six months, and each report includes the number of demands we receive and the number of accounts or identifiers that may be affected by these demands. We also provide details on the number of demands we complied with and, if we complied, whether we provided content or non-content data.

This Law Enforcement Requests Report is focused only on law enforcement requests at this time and does not include data about national security requests. However, we have also recently been permitted to begin publishing data about the number of legal demands we receive from the U.S. Government pursuant to national security laws. Our first and most recent report on these requests can be found here. Along with the Law Enforcement Requests Report, we’ll update this information every six months moving forward.

We publish this information to help customers understand the clear principles Microsoft follows in responding to legal demands for customer data. We believe that our customers deserve and need to understand our policies, and the extent to which law enforcement requests impact our users. We also believe that that this kind of increased transparency may help advocates and policymakers better arrive at an appropriate balance between public safety and customer privacy.

About Microsoft’s response process

Microsoft follows clear principles in responding to government legal demands for customer data:

  • We require a valid subpoena or legal equivalent before we consider releasing a customer’s non-content data to law enforcement;
  • We require a court order or warrant before we consider releasing a customer’s content data;
  • In each instance, we carefully examine the requests we receive for a customer’s information to make sure they are in accord with the laws, rules and procedures that apply.

Microsoft remains committed to respecting human rights, free expression, and individual privacy. We seek to operate all of the services we own in a manner that’s consistent with our Global Human Rights Statement and responsibilities as a member of the Global Network Initiative. We strive to adopt practices that are clear and straightforward, and have provided additional detail on our policies and practices for responding to all government demands for customer data in our FAQ. For additional information about how we use and protect customer information, please read the Microsoft Online Privacy Statement and the Skype Privacy Policy.

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Law Enforcement Requests Report FAQ
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Which Microsoft Services are included in this report?
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How many Microsoft users were impacted by law enforcement requests?
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How many times did Microsoft disclose the content of customer communications or data storage to law enforcement?
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What services are subject to law enforcement requests?
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What is the difference between a consumer and an enterprise customer?
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What is non-content data?
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What is content data?
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What should Microsoft customers take away from this data disclosure?
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Did Microsoft ever challenge a law enforcement request?
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Does the data include any legal demands that may have been issued pursuant to U.S. national security orders (e.g. FISA Orders and FISA Directives)?
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Does Microsoft have a program to disclose information in response to imminent emergencies?
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