Microsoft shoo off FBI over Office 365 data

23 May 2014

spy_title_cropped The FBI, as you know, like knowing people's business. They asked Microsoft for a load of information and data from their Office 365 subscribers.

Microsoft told them to sling it.

Court documents show that the FBI sent Microsoft a confidential letter last year, known as a National Security Letter and it demanded that "several categories of information" relating to an unnamed enterprise customer should be delivered to them.

Microsoft's general counsel Brad Smith said: "Last December I announced that Microsoft was committed 'to notifying business and government customers if we receive legal orders related to their data. Where a gag order attempts to prohibit us from doing this, we will challenge it in court'."

"Accordingly, Microsoft challenged this particular order, having concluded the non-disclosure provision was "unlawful and violated [Microsoft's] constitutional right to free expression".

Microsoft challenged and won. The FBI 'withdrew' their letter.

Of course, a lot of the tech companies are publishing details of government requests that are handed to them, thank to the leaks and such from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Smith added: "In those rare cases where we have received requests, we've succeeded in redirecting the government to obtain the information from the customer, or we have obtained permission from the customer to provide the data. We're pleased with the outcome of this case, which validates our approach."

The full FBI request is available to download here, if you like that sort of thing.

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.

Your comment