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It's no mystery that government agencies compel tech companies to give them (totally legal) access to user data. It's also pretty well known that the tech companies charge the government for the trouble. We've just never really known how much—until now.
Long story short, Microsoft charges the FBI (read: taxpayers) hundreds of thousands of dollars a month for access to information about you. And their rates are on the rise. The Syrian Electronic Army says it hacked into the FBI's super-secret Digital Intercept Technology Unit (DITU), where they found the actual invoices from Microsoft detailing how much each request for data cost.
An invoice from December 2012 totals $145,100 which boils down to $100 per request.
Nacchio told The Wall Street Journal that the NSA set up a meeting with him in February 2001 wherein he believed they would discuss potential government contracts. But he says the NSA instead asked him for permission to surveil Qwest customers.
He says he refused to cooperate based on advice from his lawyers that such an action would be illegal, as the NSA would not go through the normal process of asking the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for a subpoena. About this time, he says the company’s ability to win unrelated government contracts - something it did not have trouble with before the NSA meeting - slowed significantly.
It took until 2007 before Nacchio was convicted of insider trading. Prosecutors claim he was guilty of selling off Qwest stock in early 2001, not long before the company went through financial ills. Nevertheless, he claimed in court documents that he was still confident in the firm’s ability to win government contracts.
Nacchio believes his conviction was in retaliation for his refusal to play ball with legally dubious NSA spying requests.
Maybe that's why they doubled it to $200?
$100 a request is quite cheap given how long the request could take to doedit on 21-3-2014 by Arbitrageur because: clarification