News

Microsoft Files Objection to Warrant for E-Mail Stored Abroad

Microsoft is protesting a U.S. search warrant to turn over an e-mail stored in its Dublin datacenter, claiming it is in violation of international law.

Microsoft filed an objection in the U.S. Southern New York Court last Friday. In it, the company said if the warrant to turn over the e-mail stored abroad were upheld, it "would violate international law and treaties, and reduce the privacy protection of everyone on the planet."

A federal judge granted the search warrant in New York back in December as part of a criminal inquiry. The customer's identity and country of origin are not known.

According to a New York Times report on Wednesday, Microsoft's appeal may be the first time a major company has challenged a domestic search warrant for digital information overseas. Privacy groups and other IT providers are concerned over the outcome of this case, according to the report, noting it has international repercussions. Foreign governments are already concerned that their citizens' data are not adequately protected.

Search warrants seeking data oversees are rare, according to NYT, but granting one could pave the way for future cases, as well as fuel international conflicts at a time when foreign governments are already unnerved by U.S. surveillance activities.

The case could put pressure for revisions to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, which was created before international electronic communications over the Internet were common.

The NYT report said the case could go on for some time, with oral arguments scheduled for July 31.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

Featured

  • The 2020 Microsoft Product Roadmap

    From the next major update to Windows 10 to the next generations of .NET and PowerShell, here's what's on tap from Microsoft this year.

  • 2020 Microsoft Conference Calendar: For Partners, IT Pros and Developers

    Here's your guide to all the IT training sessions, partner meet-ups and annual Microsoft conferences you won't want to miss. (Now updated with COVID-19-related event changes.)

  • Curvey Stone Steps Graphic

    Microsoft Makes Run at 5G, Edge Computing with Azure Edge Zones

    Microsoft is promising to enable new edge computing scenarios for partners and developers with Azure Edge Zones, which became available as a preview this week.

  • Microsoft's Entire 2020 Event Lineup Going 'Digital-First'

    In response to concerns about the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Microsoft is transitioning all of its big conferences in 2020 to be online only.

RCP Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.