Microsoft has published its first Law Enforcement Requests Report
, showing how many requests for customer data it received from various security agencies around the world. The effort by Microsoft for transparency, part of its Global Human Rights Statement, mirrors a similar effort by Google and its Transparency Report
, with both attempting to demonstrate which governments want to affect the Internet and its users the most.
Over the 2012 calendar year, Microsoft services excluding Skype received a total of 11,073 requests from law enforcement officials representing the United States, over a seventh of the 70,665 requests made in total globally, and second only to Turkey's 11,434 requests. Skype alone received 1,268 requests from the UK, followed by the US with 1,154.
Overall, 75,378 law enforcement requests were made in 2012, potentially impacting 137,424 accounts. A Microsoft blog
states that two thirds of the 56,000 cases where some sort of information was provided were from agencies in just five countries: The US, the UK, Turkey, Germany, and France. Of the 1,558 cases where customer content was provided, such as e-mails or chat transcripts, all but 14 were to warrants from US-based courts.
Microsoft hopes to continue with issuing a new report periodically, with the next set for six months time.