In a new letter to the United States’ top legal official, Microsoft is now asking for permission to allow it to reveal more information concerning precisely how and under what circumstances Redmond and other tech companies are sharing data with the National Security Agency (NSA) and other federal agencies. Recent news suggests that Microsoft has a fairly cozy relationship with the spy agencies. Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that Microsoft gives the NSA early access to information about discovered security flaws and other bugs before fixing them publicly. Last week, new leaks from Edward Snowden’s trove showed that Skype chats and voice calls can be tapped by the NSA.

As Microsoft’s general counsel Bradford L. Smith wrote (PDF) on Tuesday:     

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