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Updated 8:44 AM EDT, Wed, Aug 18, 2021

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Microsoft Reveals New Information on Government Requests for User Data

Microsoft sign at its Redmond headquarters

(Photo : Wikimedia Commons)

Computer giant Microsoft on Friday disclosed substantial data about how governments around the world have requested for users' account information in the first half of the year.

The accumulated number of requests and impacted accounts were similar to the figures seen in the last six months of the previous year.

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Between January and June, a total of 34,494 requests were sent to the Redmond-based company, affecting 58,562 accounts. In the six month period that concluded 2013, 35,083 requests were filed and 58,676 accounts were impacted.

John Frank, Deputy General Counsel and Vice President of Legal and Corporate Affairs, wrote in a blog post that most of the requests came from the United States, followed in order by Germany, France, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

"Of law enforcement requests received, less than 3 percent resulted in disclosure of customer content data, while approximately 75 percent of requests resulted in disclosure of "non-content" data," he added. "Meanwhile, 22 percent were either rejected on legal grounds or no data was found, compared to 18 percent for the preceding six-month period."

The tech company also reported that the number of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act orders it was given in the period were between zero and 999, potentially impacting between 18,000 and 18,999 accounts.

Microsoft isn't the only company being hounded by intelligence agencies for users' private information.

Yahoo announced on Sept. 11 that it was being fined by the U.S. government $250,000 every day it refuses to cough up its user data as a part of the National Security Agency's surveillance programs.

Ron Bell, Yahoo's general counsel, said on the company's Tumblr page that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review released over 1,500 pages of previously secret documents that are related to the company's dispute with the government in 2007 over the data Yahoo's users have with the company.

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