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UK Police World’s Hungriest For Skype Users’ Private Data


UK Police World’s Hungriest For Skype Users’ Private Data

Microsoft figures show British police make more requests for Skype user data than other forces in any other nation

Microsoft has released data showing UK law enforcement made more requests for Skype users’ private data than police in any other country.

Britain has long been lambasted for being something of a surveillance state and the statistics from Microsoft,which decided to publish this information in its first Law Enforcement Requests Report, do nothing to improve the nation’s reputation. The report came after calls in January for more transparency from Microsoft.

Bobbies want your Skype data

In 2012, the UK was the source of 1,268 requests for Skype user information, while the whole of the US made only 1,154 requests, and German police made a paltry 685.  The UK was looking for information on 2,720 different users in its requests.

SkypeWhilst UK police received no content from Skype accounts, it appears they did gain other user information, such as SkypeIDs and email addresses, although Microsoft did not say how much data it handed over. In 40 cases, the Skype compliance team provided general guidance.

UK police made 9,226 requests for information on 14,301 users of other Microsoft products, such as Hotmail, Outlook, Xbox Live and SkyDrive. The US again made fewer – 11,073 requests – but it was Turkey who put in the most, with 11,434.

Together, Microsoft and Skype received 75,378 law enforcement requests last year, affecting 137,424 accounts. Of those, 1,558 requests resulted in the disclosure of customer content

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