Microsoft Sues the NSA, Asks for Permission to Disclose More Data

Microsoft and Google joined forces in a lawsuit against the government

By on August 31st, 2013 07:38 GMT

Microsoft has recently moved the fight against the US government to the court, asking for permission to disclose more data and thus demonstrate that it didn't help the NSA spy on its users.

Both Google and Microsoft have filed suits in June, the Redmond-based tech giant revealed, pointing to the US Constitution and its rights to share more information with the public.

Brad Smith, general counsel & executive vice president, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft, claims that Redmond has extended the deadline to reply to these lawsuits six times until now, but talks with the government have until now ended in failure.

“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,” Smith said.

“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.”

Microsoft is not alone in the fight against the NSA and the US government. In addition to Google, some other unnamed companies in the technology sector joined Microsoft's effort to ask for permission on disclosing data concerning the requests it received for providing user details.

“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,” Smith concluded.

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"On six occasions in recent weeks we agreed with the Department of Justice to extend the Government’s deadline to reply to these lawsuits," Microsoft said
   "On six occasions in recent weeks we agreed with the Department of Justice to extend the Government’s deadline to reply to these lawsuits," Microsoft said
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