Eager to promote its privacy credentials, Microsoft has revealed that it’s successfully seen off the FBI in court over a request for customer information.
Documents released this week show that the company received a National Security Letter (NSL) last year asking for “several categories of information” relating to a single user account for one of its enterprise customers. As an NSL, the application is subject to a gagging order, meaning that Microsoft wasn’t able to reveal its existence to the customer – the focus of its complaint.
Microsoft has strong policies on guarding customer data, winning it top marks in the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Who Has Your Back report last week. “EFF believes that National Security Letters (NSLs) – secretive FBI orders for user data accompanied by a gag provision – are a violation of the Constitution,” says the EFF. “We think it is vital that companies are as forthcoming as legally allowable about these national security requests to help shed light on government abuses of contested surveillance powers.”