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Microsoft Sues NSA For Permission To Disclose More Data



/ 3 years ago

Microsoft-Redmond

Microsoft has announced that it is making another push for transparency against the NSA. It claims that lawsuits filed against the U.S government have been totally ignored and despite extending the deadline six times and being actively involved in talks with the U.S government, everything has ended in failure. This has left Microsoft with no choice but to take things further in legal proceedings.

“We believe we have a clear right under the U.S. Constitution to share more information with the public.  The purpose of our litigation is to uphold this right so that we can disclose additional data. 

On six occasions in recent weeks we agreed with the Department of Justice to extend the Government’s deadline to reply to these lawsuits.  We hoped that these discussions would lead to an agreement acceptable to all.  While we appreciate the good faith and earnest efforts by the capable Government lawyers with whom we negotiated, we are disappointed that these negotiations ended in failure.”

Microsoft believes the government isn’t doing enough to be transparent and uphold the constitution and that there needs to be much more clarity.

“Yesterday, the Government announced that it would begin publishing the total number of national security requests for customer data for the past 12 months and do so going forward once a year.  The Government’s decision represents a good start.  But the public deserves and the Constitution guarantees more than this first step. 

For example, we believe it is vital to publish information that clearly shows the number of national security demands for user content, such as the text of an email.  These figures should be published in a form that is distinct from the number of demands that capture only metadata such as the subscriber information associated with a particular email address.  We believe it’s possible to publish these figures in a manner that avoids putting security at risk.  And unless this type of information is made public, any discussion of government practices and service provider obligations will remain incomplete.”

Despite the fact Microsoft and Google do not see eye-to-eye on many issues the two companies have joined together with others across the technology sector to challenge the morally corrupt surveillance policies of the U.S government.

“Over the past several weeks Microsoft and Google have pursued these talks in consultation with others across the technology sector.  With the failure of our recent negotiations, we will move forward with litigation in the hope that the courts will uphold our right to speak more freely.  And with a growing discussion on Capitol Hill, we hope Congress will continue to press for the right of technology companies to disclose relevant information in an appropriate way.”

Image courtesy of nethope.org


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  • Wayne

    Two software giants going up against the govt. Should be an interesting battle but I have a feeling MS & Google will end up toeing the line.