US Supreme Court justices express support for US over Microsoft in data jurisdiction case

Microsoft’s legal battle with the US government over information on overseas servers is heating up in the courts.

Bloomberg reports that several US supreme court Justices favour the government’s side over Microsoft’s at this stage, with some expressing concerns that emails which are sent from the supreme court building another building just down the block could be rendered inaccessible if the email happens to be stored in another country.

Justice Alto raised concerns about the need to access offshore email. Arguing that if a US citizen was being investigated for crimes, the lack of access to their email data might hobble law enforcement investigative capacities.

Microsoft’s lawyer, Rosenkranz, argued that in such cases, the US government could simply reach out to the other nation for help requesting data. if they could demonstrate such a need through the proper channels, the other nation would surely respond appropriately.

Microsoft’s case has been supported by other tech giants, including Apple and Google who have weighed in in support of the firm.

Some justices have expressed concern that the US is relying on a decades-old law to tackle a very uniquely 21st-century problem. They would prefer Congress draft legislation on the matter, rather than create complications.

“If you try to tinker with this without the tools that — that only Congress has, you are as likely to break the cloud as you are to fix it,” said Rosenkranz.

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