Microsoft fought the FBI over information request and won

Microsoft has released a report on the amount of information requests it gets from governments and law enforcement groups every six months for a little while now. However, details about what is contained in those reports are scarce due to current laws. Today, Microsoft announced that a federal court had unsealed documents revealing the company was successful in fighting an information request from the FBI in late 2013.

In a blog post, Brad Smith, Microsoft's General Counsel and Executive Vice President, said that it had received a FBI National Security Letter requesting information about one of the company's enterprise customers. Smith added that such a request that targeted an enterprise customer was "extremely rare". However, the FBI's letter contained a nondisclosure provision which Microsoft felt was unconstitutional and kept it from notifying the unnamed customer that the FBI was looking to obtain information.

Microsoft challenged the FBI's letter in court and in turn the agency decided to withdraw their information request. Smith said, "For over two centuries individuals in the United States have turned to the courts to protect our most fundamental freedoms. This case demonstrates the vital role our courts continue to play and the cause for confidence they provide."

Source: Microsoft | FBI image via Shutterstock

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17 Comments

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this is like he worst cover up story. funny how this only comes to light once it was said that fbi and police have very close ties.

And I'd bet (and without a doubt, win that bet) that Microsoft didn't go to court when they got similar unconstitutional requests concerning unknown individuals.

Your post contains no facts, only an opinion of what would happen given a hypothetical situation. A little like saying "I bet MS forced dogs and cats to live together, can you believe that?!?! Pure evil!"

Your post contains nothing but the ridiculous statement of the obvious that my post contains no facts. If I had facts, I wouldn't have "bet" in the first place. At least my bet makes perfect sense, while your ridiculous quote is just a lousy trolling attempt.

audioman said,
Your post contains nothing but the ridiculous statement of the obvious that my post contains no facts. If I had facts, I wouldn't have "bet" in the first place. At least my bet makes perfect sense, while your ridiculous quote is just a lousy trolling attempt.

It's not a lousy trolling attempt. It's pointing out that your "bet" is ridiculous. If that's the way you go about betting, you need a new hobby.

audioman said,
It IS a lousy trolling attempt, and the idiotic "recommendation" you just gave me is yet another trolling attempt.

I'm beginning to think you don't know what trolling is. IE. It isn't trolling when people question what you're saying. Grow up.

And yet another ridiculous trolling attempt. Yes, "you're beginning to think I don't know what trolling is", of course. Oh I've been familiar with trolling since the early IRC days, and you sir, are just a run of the mill troll.

audioman said,
And yet another ridiculous trolling attempt. Yes, "you're beginning to think I don't know what trolling is", of course. Oh I've been familiar with trolling since the early IRC days, and you sir, are just a run of the mill troll.

Just proving further that you have no idea what you're talking about. Haven't Microsoft gone on the record before stating that they have defended requests for their unknown customers?

Have you looked into this, or do you just make assumptions in your head and start believing them?

Let me guess. I'm questioning you, so I'm a troll?

You're a troll because you troll, but you're also a bad troll, because you're not a smart one with common sense. I'll explain to you again, because you can't grasp basic logic: if I HAD any actual data on this subject, I wouldn't have had to BET in the first place, I would have cited PROOF, but because I HAVE NO PROOF regarding THIS SPECIFIC CASE, it's not even possible to "cite sources" or what the hell ever, because they are not in my possession at all, I don't have them, hence the most I can do is state that I WOULD BET that for unknown individuals, they didn't go to court, which if you live in this world and have gained just a bit of experience as a human being with a healthy working brain, you'd understand why it makes much sense, although you can still disagree if you like, no problem with that, except that you can't grasp that I (me, myself) HAVE NO DOUBT that my feeling is true, regardless of whether I can PROVE it to you or not, and your ass is so tight that you CAN'T accept others having their own doubts or lack of doubts, you HAVE to try to dismiss others' expressions of their doubt or lack of doubt because you're an anti-social human being, hence a troll. Get the #### over yourself, kid, and be thankful that I even bothered to write this reply which I most probably shouldn't have written but I'm taking a bet and posting it FOR YOU (yes, believe it or not).

audioman said,
You're a troll because you troll, but you're also a bad troll, because you're not a smart one with common sense. I'll explain to you again, because you can't grasp basic logic: if I HAD any actual data on this subject, I wouldn't have had to BET in the first place, I would have cited PROOF, but because I HAVE NO PROOF regarding THIS SPECIFIC CASE, it's not even possible to "cite sources" or what the hell ever, because they are not in my possession at all, I don't have them, hence the most I can do is state that I WOULD BET that for unknown individuals, they didn't go to court, which if you live in this world and have gained just a bit of experience as a human being with a healthy working brain, you'd understand why it makes much sense, although you can still disagree if you like, no problem with that, except that you can't grasp that I (me, myself) HAVE NO DOUBT that my feeling is true, regardless of whether I can PROVE it to you or not, and your ass is so tight that you CAN'T accept others having their own doubts or lack of doubts, you HAVE to try to dismiss others' expressions of their doubt or lack of doubt because you're an anti-social human being, hence a troll. Get the #### over yourself, kid, and be thankful that I even bothered to write this reply which I most probably shouldn't have written but I'm taking a bet and posting it FOR YOU (yes, believe it or not).

I think you need new meds, mate.

And I think I lost my own bet, since apparently it WAS pointless to try to reach the human being in you, because you're just a low quality troll making yet another idiotic troll. Good luck with the low quality trollings.

Microsoft had to fight it out. From a business perspective, if this information gets leaked to public (which it would've eventually), it would cause a massive loss of confidence from public. Microsoft's corporate clients will start looking elsewhere.

sanke1 said,
Microsoft had to fight it out. From a business perspective, if this information gets leaked to public (which it would've eventually), it would cause a massive loss of confidence from public. Microsoft's corporate clients will start looking elsewhere.

How on Earth do you come to that conclusion? Or did you not read the article correctly? Microsoft stood up in the courts for their customer. If anything, this will make Microsoft more appealing to companies doing business with them.

"For over two centuries individuals in the United States have turned to the courts to protect our most fundamental freedoms. This case demonstrates the vital role our courts continue to play and the cause for confidence they provide."

Not really, they just did not want to be the next NSA headliner. But def big props to Microsoft.

"Microsoft challenged the FBI's letter in court and in turn the agency decided to withdraw their information request"

While I think this is good news (that MS didn't simply comply without a fight), I do find it concerning that these government organizations think it's OK to file indefensible requests with the expectation that they could be fulfilled. They are doing this on our dime (from the perspective of a US taxpayer). :/