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Microsoft Received 515 User Data Requests From Indian Govt Between Jan-Jun 2013

Microsoft received a total of 321 requests for disclosure of 515 users & accounts from the Indian government in first six months of 2013, it has revealed as a part of its Law Enforcement Requests report, compared to 471 requests for disclosure of 695 users and accounts it received from the Indian government in financial year 2012.

Out of the total 321 requests, it received a total of 43 requests for disclosure of 102 Skype accounts from the Indian government, while the rest of the requests were for other Microsoft services.

The company mentioned that the content disclosed could include the subject or body of an email, photos stored in SkyDrive, address book information and calendars, while non-content information could include the user’s name, billing address and IP history among others. All of its major online services are covered in this report, including Hotmail, Outlook.com, SkyDrive, Xbox LIVE, Microsoft Account, Office 365, although Skype user account data has been disclosed separately.

Microsoft complied with none of the requests resulting in disclosure of exact content but it complied with as many as 224 requests resulting in disclosure of subscriber/transactional (non-content) data. The company also revealed that 44 requests or 16.2% of requests resulted in disclosure of no customer data, that is, no data was found and around 8 requests or 3.2% of requests resulted in disclosure of no customer data or request rejected for not meeting legal requirements.

Microsoft Law Enforcement Requests Report

As for Skype, there were requests for 34 accounts or 79.1% specified in requests resulting in disclosure of subscriber/transactional (non-content) data.  There was a request for one account specified in requests where compliance team found no data, while requests for 8 accounts or 18.6% were rejected.

It’s worth noting that Microsoft did not give the breakup of the reasons provided by the Indian government for the user account/data requests. In comparison, Google provides product wise break up and reasons for the user data requests provided by each government.

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Other developments

Between July and December 2012, Google received 160 content removal requests from the Indian government to remove 2,942 items and it has fully or partially complied with 36% of these requests.

Between January to June 2013, Twitter received 1 removal request through a court order and 1 removal request by government or police authorities that specified less than 10 user accounts and it complied with 50% of these requests. It had also disclosed that it had received less than 10 requests for disclosure of of user information from the Indian government between July to December 2012,. Twitter had however complied with no requests. In August 2012, GoI had also requested Twitter to block 28 Twitter accounts which have allegedly tweeted communally sensitive or inflammatory remarks and photos.

India made 1490 requests for data on 2704 Yahoo accounts, of which Yahoo disclosed user account information in case of 56% of requests – it disclosed content in 341 cases, and “Non Content Data” in 494 cases.

India ranks second in the world, in terms of the total Facebook accounts for which governments have requested information in the first six months of this year (ending June 30th 2013).

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