Syrian Electronic Army leaks Microsoft’s FBI private data sales

Mar 20, 2014
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Syrian Electronic Army leaks Microsoft’s FBI private data sales

The Syrian Electronic Army is known for their Twitter-hacking exploits, sometimes also going after the websites of various media agencies. Earlier this year, the SEA targeted Microsoft's Twitter account and blog, something said to have been a distraction while it pulled off its bigger mission: grabbing copies of Microsoft's invoices to the FBI.

The SEA grabbed documents from Microsoft showing emails and invoices sent to the FBI's Digital Intercept Technology Unit, more commonly called the DITU, charging the government agency for complying with lawful data requests. The folks over at The Daily Dot were given a pre-publication look at the documents.

The invoices show Microsoft having charged the DITU $145,100 in December 2012, for example, at a rate of $100 per data request. That per-request rate increased over time to $200 each in August 2013, when one of the alleged invoices show a charge of $352,200. The newest invoice in the batch that was nabbed was for November 2013, which showed a charge of $281,000. In one case, an invoice breaks the rates down by specifics, showing a subpoena being charged at $50 per first account and $25 for subsequent accounts, while a court order is priced at $75/$50, and a search warrant is priced at $100/$50.

An attorney for the EFF told The Daily Dot that there aren't any indications "that they're not real", but the documents, obviously, aren't officially confirmed as such. Microsoft isn't the only company that charges the government for compliance with data requests, and the most notable information from these documents is a demonstration of how many requests the company receives every month to tally up such large figures.

SOURCE: The Daily Dot


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