Dropbox Security Breach Email Spam
Dropbox has received over 250 data requests from US law enforcement so far in 2014

Law enforcement asked Dropbox for user information more than 250 times in just the first six months of 2014, according to the company's latest transparency report.

US authorities submitted 268 user information requests over that period of time, while intelligence agencies made fewer than 250 requests.

The most striking fact about these data subpoenas was the sizeable number that stipulated that Dropbox keep the request secret, so as not to impact the investigation.

Dropbox said that 80% of those user info requests came with gag orders.

The California-based software company said it notified users in 91 of the 268 cases in which data was requested by law enforcement. Each case could name multiple users.

In the report, which will now be published every six months rather than annually, Dropbox said: "We believe it's critical for our users to know about when and how governments ask us for their information."

In their analysis of the data, they said that government data requests have remained consistent, and that agencies rarely ask for information without a warrant.

One law enforcement request reads: "Dear Sir/Madam: Pursuant to an official criminal investigation currently being conducted, it is requested that you furnish the records requested in the attached subpoena.

"It is further requested that you do not disclose the existence of this subpoena, as such disclosure could obstruct and impede the ongoing criminal investigation being conducted and thereby interfere with the enforcement of the law."

In user request snippets published by The Verge, law enforcement secrecy seems to be a request rather than a legal order. Some legal scholars consider gag orders unconstitutional.

Dropbox was criticized after it was named and shamed in the Snowden NSA documents. In a recent controversial move, the company appointed former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to the board. Rice has publicly supported warrantless wiretaps in the past.