Microsoft says not part of broad government online monitoring

SEATTLE, June 6 Fri Jun 7, 2013 6:09am IST

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SEATTLE, June 6 (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp said on Thursday it provides customer data to the U.S. government only when it receives a legally binding order and only on specific accounts, after the Washington Post reported U.S. security agencies had access to its central servers.

The Post reported on Thursday the U.S. National Security Agency and the FBI were "tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies" - including Microsoft - through a highly classified program known as PRISM, extracting audio, video, photographs, emails, documents and connection logs.

Microsoft made no mention of the PRISM program in a statement released after the Post report, and denied it was part of any voluntary data collection mechanism.

"We provide customer data only when we receive a legally binding order or subpoena to do so, and never on a voluntary basis," Microsoft said in the emailed statement.

"In addition we only ever comply with orders for requests about specific accounts or identifiers. If the government has a broader voluntary national security program to gather customer data we don't participate in it."

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