Microsoft Takes The NSA To Court, Asks For Permission To Disclose Data

Ha, for a change, Microsoft is suing another entity! The Redmond based technology titan has been on the receiving end of several lawsuits over the past few years.

But this time, it is the one taking the US government to court.

The National Security Agency has been in the spotlight for a few months now, ever since information about many of its online spying operations was leaked. These involved the NSA requesting online information gathered by technology companies, including Microsoft.

And now Microsoft is moving its fight against the NSA to the court.

The company is asking for permission to disclose more data in order to demonstrate that it did not help the NSA spy on its users. Redmond implored the authorities to allow it to disclose this data a few months back, pointing to the US Constitution and its right to share more information with the public.

But now it has emerged that Microsoft, along with Google, filed suits back in June.

In fact, Brad Smith, general counsel & executive vice president, Legal & Corporate Affairs over at Microsoft claims that the company has extended the deadline to reply to these lawsuits six times up until now to no avail — all talks with the government have so far 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.

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.”

Microsoft, as you may recall, is not alone in this fight against the NSA.

Along with Google, many other unnamed technology companies have joined Microsoft in its effort to ask for permission on disclosing data concerning the requests it received for providing user details.

And while Google has not yet publicly commented on its efforts to fight the government on this matter, Smith revealed that both companies stand together in this — an unusual (but pleasant, nevertheless) show of solidarity between two technology titans.

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