MojoKid writes: Microsoft is smarting in the wake of the Guardian's discussion of how chummy it's gotten with the NSA over the past few years, and the company wants permission to clarify its relationship with the federal government. To that end, the company has sent a follow-up letter to the Attorney General's office, asking it to please address the petition it filed in court back on June 19. Redmond is undoubtedly cringing at the accolades being heaped on Yahoo and its repeated court battles on behalf of its users, and wants an opportunity to clear the air. But Microsoft has gone farther than simply asking the government to hurry up and rule on its petition — it has also issued a series of clarifying remarks regarding its relationship with the NSA. Microsoft refutes some of the Guardian's claims strongly. It insists it does not provide encryption keys or access to Outlook's encryption mechanisms, and that the government must petition MS to provide information via the legal process.