In Microsoft’s effort to fight the DOJ gag orders that prevent tech companies from telling customers when the government has ordered it to turn over data, it has gained an ally in The American Civil Liberties Union, who just filed a motion to join Microsoft’s cause.
Alex Abdo, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project said in statement, “A basic promise of our Constitution is that the government must notify you at some point when it searches or seizes your private information. Notice serves as a crucial check on executive power, and it has been a regular and constitutionally required feature of searches and seizures since the nation’s founding.”
While law enforcement agencies argue that access to such information helps fight crime and terrorism, Microsoft argues that this violates users’ Fourth Amendment right that a search be reasonable and Microsoft’s First Amendment right to talk to its users.
Microsoft spokesperson David Cuddy said the company “appreciates the support from the ACLU and many others in the business, legal and policy communities who are concerned about secrecy becoming the norm rather than the exception.”