Date: 06-06-04 00:15
Dan, I used to work over at Hotmail, which also maintains the MSN/Windows Messenger network. I wish to remain anonymous, just because. :P
What Microsoft tells you about getting your own logs is quite true. They don't provide details to *anyone* without a court order. That includes the FBI and state or county police departments. The only exclusion applied (but still required a letterhead for verification purposes) was in the case of physical harm (suicide, death threats, rape, etc.), which resulted in a call to Legal regardless of the hour (day or night).
As far as what the Messenger network actually logs, none of us really know -- yes, even those who maintained the servers and kept things flowing aren't sure what was logged. Messenger is one of those "gray area" things, even inside of Microsoft. But, I can tell you that connection logs (but NOT conversational logs) are likely kept, due to some of the equipment used for the service.
I'll be placing a small donation to you regardless. Hopefully enough members of the BSD community will come forth and help you get a replacement, if not something better.
Best of luck in the future!