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Microsoft handed Aussie government spooks customer data

by on03 October 2013

More than a thousand people dobbed in

Software giant Microsoft dobbed in more than a thousand Aussies to their government spooks in just six months, according to a new transparency report. The government asked for loads of details about squatters in the outback and the theft of jolly jumbuck’s and the illegal storage of feral sheep in tucker bags.

Microsoft granted 1050, or 86 per cent, of those requests - handing over information such as email addresses, names, locations and internet protocol (IP) addresses. However Redmond refused to give user-generated "content data" - which includes emails, documents and photographs. Six requests did not meet legal requirements and were rejected, while the company was unable to find the requested data in 163 cases.

The report is the second Microsoft has released on government data requests. The first revealed the company received 2238 requests from Australian authorities last year. More than 64 governments made 37,000 requests concerning 67,000 accounts. Most of the requests came from the US, UK, France, Germany and Turkey.

The requests usually relate to criminal investigations but some involve "imminent emergencies" such as suicide threats.

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