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Published: Sunday 22 September, 2013

michael kors outlet online official michael kors outlet online official ´╗┐Facebook and Microsoft reveal US data requests

Facebook late on Friday became the first American internet company michael kors outlet online official to reveal the full extent of official US government demands to hand over information about its users, including the controversial secret req michael kors outlet online official uests that have been at the centre of the National Security Agency surveillance scandal.

The social networking site said it had been ordered to give up information contained in between 18,000 and 19,000 user accounts in the second half of 2012, though it did not disclose how many of the requests it had complied with. The demands were contained in 9,00010,000 separate orders received from a mix of local, state and federal government agencies, it said.

The figures, disclosed in a blog post from general counsel Ted Ullyot, were the first indication of the limits of the NSAs secret surveillance programme, which has caused a storm in Europe and elsewhere.

Microsoft later said that for the last six months of 2012 it received between 6,000 and 7,000 criminal and national security warrants, subpoenas and orders affecting between 31,000 and 32,000 consumer accounts, Reuters reported.

Facebooks move comes as US attorneygeneral Eric Holder is vowing to bring to justice Edward Snowden, accusing the former intelligence contractor who leaked information on topsecret surveillance programmes of endangering the safety of Americans and their allies.

Speaking in Dublin ahead of the G8 summit, Eric Holder said the actions taken by the 29yearold now believed to be in hiding in Hong Kong had damaged the safety of the American people.

The national security of the United States has been damaged as a result of those leaks, he told reporters on Friday.

His comments came as European politicians continued to raise concerns about the disclosure, first reported this month in The Guardian and The Washington Post, that the NSA was working with Google, Microsoft and other tech companies to monitor foreigners emails abroad.

Viviane Reding, the EU justice commissioner, said she had reached an agreement with Mr Holder to form a transatlantic group of experts to address questions raised by the disclosure of the Prism programme.

Facebook claimed that the figures showed that it had not been involved in the sort of widespread surveillance of users outside the US that has been claimed in some quarters.

Like Google and several other US internet companies, it has pressed Washington for permission to reveal the figures in order to counter reports of unrestricted surveillance that have threated to undermine the trust of foreign users.

We hope this helps put into perspective the numbers involved, and lays to rest some of the hyperbolic and false assertions in some recent press accounts about the frequency and scope of the data requests that we receive, Mr Ullyot said.

Until now, internet companies have been forbidden from revealing that they have received secret court orders for information about users outside the US made under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. However, af michael kors outlet online official ter reports claiming that they gave the security services direct access to their servers to find information about suspected terrorists, they have pressed for permission to report more.

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We frequently reject such requests outright, or require the government to substantially scale down its requests, or simply give the government much less data than it has requested, Mr Ullyot said, though Facebook did not reveal how many orders it had complied with.

While making it the first to disclose the full extent of US government information demands, the numbers released by Facebook gave no indication of what proportion of the disclosure orders were made under the FISA regulations.

The demands covered a wide range of cases, Mr Ullyot said, from things like a local sheriff trying to find a missing child, to a federal marshal tracking a fugitive, to a police department investigating an assault, to a national security official investigating a terrorist threat.

Google was the first to disclose the extent of US information requests made under other legal provisions, though its numbers have not included the FISA data.

Microsoft followed suit, while Facebook has until now held back from revealing any information about the US orders, claiming that the data were meaningless unless they included requests made under all possible legal provisions. michael kors outlet online official