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Second Circuit declines to review Microsoft email privacy case

Second Circuit declines to review Microsoft email privacy case

The Redmond company sued the federal government past year, arguing that frequent court orders for customer data - many of which come with a prohibition on telling the person that the government came calling - violate the Constitution's privacy protections. But the gag order in the law keeps the process unfairly secret. While Microsoft is a US-based company, it can't be granted jurisdiction over data stored across its boarders.

The Fourth Amendment, which guards against unreasonable government search and seizure, is generally wielded by individuals on their own behalf. The dissenting judges in the appeals court argued that this could hamper national security, and that there wasn't any "substantial privacy interest" in protecting offshore data.

Judge Robart said he would issue a ruling later but that the law troubled him for several reasons. He said a written opinion would follow, though he didn't say when.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy group supporting Microsoft in the case, fears a ruling that the company can't sue could mean no one will ever have the right to file a data privacy lawsuit under the Fourth Amendment.

Microsoft also noted that instead of forcing the company to compromise their business the government should fix any issues with the current data sharing agreements with foreign governments.

That creates a catch-22, Rummage said.

Trump revives Dakota and Keystone XL pipeline projects
It is a project that would transport crude oil from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to a shipping point in IL . They say the route beneath Lake Oahe puts the water source in jeopardy and would destroy sacred land.

"Those people can't protect their rights", he said. "Microsoft customers have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the content they have stored". About half were accompanied by orders prohibiting disclosure of the search to the customer.

Microsoft argued in the complaint that its customers have the right to know when the government obtains a warrant to read their emails, and Microsoft has the right to tell its customers about it.

The Justice Department argues it needs such digital tools to help fight increasingly sophisticated criminals and terrorists who are savvy at using technology to communicate and hide their tracks. As it stands now, users can not possibly know that because the government prohibits companies from disclosing that information.

If the US Government prevailed in its insistence that it has jurisdiction over any data held overseas by an American company it would have a damaging effect on the business of cloud service companies such as Microsoft and Google, who may be shut out of markets such as the European Union with tight privacy laws.

The Justice Department says that claim is overly broad.


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