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[liberationtech] Microsoft Releases 2012 Law Enforcement Requests Report

Jacob Appelbaum jacob at
Thu Mar 21 09:27:47 PDT 2013

Joseph Lorenzo Hall:
> Two things seem particularly interesting: apparently zero requests for
> content were fulfilled for Skype and the associated FAQ [1] says CALEA
> (the US law that mandates intercept capability) does not apply to Skype.
> That seems particularly encouraging to me.
> The FAQ is also interesting in that the non-content question mentions
> "location" but then only lists state, country and ZIP code as fields
> provided (I don't know how MSFT would have access to precise
> geolocation, but that doesn't appear to be something they provide). Also
> the NSL reporting in the FAQ is binned in terms of thousands of NSLs...
> so in 2009 they report receiving 0-999 NSLs and in 2010 1000-1999 NSLs
> (hard to tell if that was just one more NSL or a bunch).

I don't agree with that reading of the report. There is likely a lot of
word-smithing here - for example, Does Skype include SkypeIn and
SkypeOut or just Peer to Peer video, text and storage of (other)
meta-data? Does CALEA happen on the Skype side of things or on the
PTSN/VoIP service side of Skype{In,Out}? My guess is the latter rather
than the former.

Also, note that Microsoft "Provided Guidance to Law Enforcement" - so
when they say they didn't provide content, did they provide the
credentials? If so, the guidance could have allowed the "Law
Enforcement" to simply login and restore the account data. Or perhaps
merely disclosing a key?

All the best,

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