Microsoft today announced an important milestone in their litigation against the U.S. Government’s attempt to use a search warrant to compel Microsoft to obtain and turn over email of a customer stored in Ireland. 28 leading technology and media companies, 35 leading computer scientists, and 23 trade associations and advocacy organizations are filing their “friend of the court” briefs to support Microsoft.
Collectively these briefs make one conclusion unmistakably clear. This case involves not a narrow legal question, but a broad policy issue that is fundamental to the future of global technology.
As we’ve said since this case began, tech companies such as Microsoft for good reason store private communications such as email, photos, and documents in datacenters that are located close to our customers. This is so consumers and companies can retrieve their personal information more quickly and securely. For example, we store email in our Irish datacenter for customers who live in Europe.
We believe that when one government wants to obtain email that is stored in another country, it needs to do so in a manner that respects existing domestic and international laws. In contrast, the U.S. Government’s unilateral use of a search warrant to reach email in another country puts both fundamental privacy rights and cordial international relations at risk. And as today’s briefs demonstrate, the impacts of this step are far-reaching.
Read more about it here.