Microsoft is following the same path as rivals Google and Twitter to embrace transparency, and it has published a report comprising the law enforcement requests received last year.
According to a story published by New York Times
, the Redmond-based technology giant got a total of 70,665 requests in 2012, out of which 69 percent came from the governments of Turkey, the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany.
The official papers indicated that Microsoft worked closely with state officials to provide them with the requested information in every single case.
For example, Microsoft submitted state agencies what it calls non-content information, which includes the name of a user who registered for an account, gender, email and IP address, countries and connection information. The company complied with 8 out of 10 requests, the source writes.
On the other hand, the actual content of a specific account was requested in 2.1 percent of the cases, so Microsoft had no other choice than to send state officials the subject and the text of an email message or even the pictures stored in specific SkyDrive accounts.
Most such cases were reported in the United States (1,544), while Brazil, Ireland, Canada and New Zealand submitted only 14 requests.
Skype is one of the applications that were often mentioned in the requests submitted by state agencies, as Microsoft has revealed that the company had to provide information in 4,713 cases.
While the company revealed the Skype IP, the name, the email account, billing information and call detail records of the requested contacts, no online conversations have been tracked.
In the meantime, Skype is often accused of being used as a monitoring tool, as both China
are reportedly using Microsoft’s Vo IP platform to keep an eye on their users and track the online conversations.