Microsoft challenged a National Security Letter from the FBI last year — and won. The documents relating the case were recently unsealed, making the effort public.
The gist is simple: Microsoft received a National Security Letter requesting “basic subscriber information” regarding an “enterprise” customer. That’s how Microsoft characterized the request. For simplicity, the FBI was after the metadata of a large Microsoft client.
The letter banned Microsoft from disclosing to anyone that the data had been requested. Microsoft didn’t think that reasonable and filed a challenge. The FBI then retracted its request. The customer in question was an Office 365 user. The FBI wanted data involving “several categories of information regarding a single user account associated with the e-mail domain which is [redacted] supported within the block of individual Office 365 accounts [snip] provided to [redacted] by Microsoft under the Contract.”
On the heels of the passage of an…
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