Microsoft and the US government have been butting heads in court over access to email data stored on servers in Ireland for a while now but this week, Microsoft had quite the victory, when a Federal Appeals court ruled that the US government could not force Microsoft to hand over its foreign data.
As Reuters reports, a judge ruled that communications held by US service providers on servers in other countries can’t be obtained with a domestic search warrants. This decision cancels out an earlier ruling from July 2014, in which a court ordered Microsoft to turn over its emails.
Microsoft’s Chief Legal Officer obviously welcomed this ruling and went on to say that it helps ensure that the “legal protections of the world apply in the digital domain”. The US Department of Justice on the other hand, is disappointed in the decision and will be reviewing its legal options.
This case has attracted a lot of attention over time, with several large companies speaking out against the idea that Microsoft should have to turn over its foreign data.
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KitGuru Says: This is a victory for those who value their privacy online. However, we don’t yet know if the US will drop the case entirely, or if it will pursue further legal options.