Apr 13, 2017

Microsoft discloses first national security letter

Michel Euler / AP

Microsoft has released its latest transparency report, and there's one new item: a national security letter, the first the company has been able to publicly release.

The letter, dating from January 2014, requested information about a Microsoft customer's consumer services, though the specifics have been redacted. The request was previously included in the aggregated data Microsoft publishes, but its content couldn't be discussed until the gag order was lifted.

Why it matters: Microsoft is one of several tech companies currently fighting with the government over the disclosure of customer information requests.

Other data (July-Dec. 2016):

  • FISA requests: 1,000-1,499 for content, 0-499 for non-content data
  • National Security Letters: 0-499 for non-content data
  • Law enforcement: 25,837 requests globally, affecting 44,876 accounts/users. Microsoft disclosed non-content data in 63.3% of cases, and rejected 15.5% of requests.
  • Content removal: 753 total requests, with Microsoft taking action regarding 629 requests
  • "Right to be forgotten" (Europe): 14,491 URLs submitted, 31% approved
  • "Revenge porn" removal: Microsoft approved 298 requests out of a total of 580, at a 51% approval rate.

Go deeper

Experimental coronavirus vaccine to be tested on humans

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The vaccine that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and drugmaker Moderna have been developing to combat the coronavirus is ready to be tested on humans, NIAID director Anthony Fauci told the Wall Street Journal.

The state of play: The rapidly developed vaccine will be tested on 20–25 healthy volunteers in April to determine whether two doses will be safe and generate an immune response to protect against infection. Results will be available in July or August, Fauci told WSJ.

#MeToo gets Weinstein

A man carries out Weinstein's walker. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Hollywood titan Harvey Weinstein is now a convicted rapist, two years and four months after accusations against him helped ignite the #MeToo movement.

Why it matters: To date, #MeToo has resulted in hundreds of powerful men losing their jobs. Seven have been criminally convicted, with four others still facing charges.