Microsoft, Verizon, and other tech giants have long believed that the United States cannot force a company to hand over data stored outside the United States. Verizon’s chief lawyer Randall Milch publically commented on this issue in February. He said that the company’s view is “simple,” adding: “The U.S. government cannot compel us to produce our customers’ data stored in datacenters outside the U.S., and, if it attempts to do so, we would challenge that attempt in court.” Microsoft’s deputy general counsel David Howard also released a statement on the issue: The U.S. government doesn’t have the power to search a home in another country, nor should it have the power to search the content of email stored overseas. Microsoft’s chief legal counsel warned last December that Microsoft would fight any attempt by governments to seize data not located within their country: “…assert available jurisdictional objections to legal demands when governments ...

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  Microsoft along with other technology industry leaders are now trying to bring transparency to the law enforcement requests they receive from various government agencies around the world. Microsoft has released their own law enforcement requests report for the first half of 2013. It lists all the countries where data are available. When you click a country, you can get the break up of no.of requests Microsoft received, rejected, disclosed content, etc,. Here are the highlights of the data revealed, Microsoft (including Skype) received 37,196 requests from law enforcement agencies potentially impacting 66,539 accounts in the first six months of this year.  This compares to 75,378 requests and 137,424 potential accounts in the whole of 2012. Approximately 77 percent of requests resulted in the disclosure of “non-content data”. No data at all was disclosed in nearly 21 percent of requests. Only a small number of requests result in the disclosure ...

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