Microsoft and the tech industry in general had a bad day in the US court as a federal judge ruled Thursday that Microsoft must hand over e-mails stored on an overseas server to US authorities. Following a two-hour court hearing in New York, U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska said the warrant lawfully required the company to hand over any data it controlled, regardless of where it was stored.
“It is a question of control, not a question of the location of that information,” Preska said.
However, the good news is that Microsoft can appeal to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Companies like Cisco, Microsoft, Verizon and others came in support of Microsoft in this case. If the current judgment takes effect, there is a possibility that these companies will lose billions of revenue from countries like China, Russia and others.
Microsoft Executive Vice President and General Counsel Brad Smith provided the following response to a federal court ruling in New York on Thursday in the company’s ongoing case challenging a U.S. government warrant for customer data stored in Dublin, Ireland:
“The only issue that was certain this morning was that the District Court’s decision would not represent the final step in this process. We will appeal promptly and continue to advocate that people’s email deserves strong privacy protection in the U.S. and around the world.”