DOJ challenges landmark Microsoft warrant case 
By Joe Uchill - 10/14/16 01:29 PM EDT

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is appealing a landmark court decision that 
requires information stored on a server in a foreign country to be obtained in 
accordance with that nation's laws. 

In July, a panel of three federal judges ruled that a United States warrant 
could not compel Microsoft to retrieve emails stored on a server located in 
Ireland. Traditionally, countries request cooperation from one another in 
accordance with negotiated treaties to obtain evidence abroad. 

The DOJ has filed for a new hearing in front of the full appeals court for the 
Southern District of New York, arguing that the previous ruling will hamper 
“In the best cases, the Government may be able to obtain this information via 
the costly, cumbersome and  time-consuming process of seeking legal assistance 
from foreign authorities pursuant to treaties, where available; but in many 
cases the Government will have no means of obtaining the information at all,” 
reads the DOJ filing. 

“This effect is already harming important investigations, and it has 
potentially far-reaching consequences.”

Civil libertarians and technology activists celebrated the Microsoft ruling 
because it added a separate government to serve additional check on 
authorities' power to collect evidence. Internationally, the ruling was also 
popular for reaffirming the sovereignty of foreign nations. 

The DOJ argues in its filing that since Microsoft can transfer the information 
at will, without leaving the U.S., the evidence should be covered by a U.S. 
warrant. And it says that responding to the warrant would not circumvent the 
privacy of users, because they have no way to know, or control, where their 
data is stored.

It's better to burn out than fade away.

Infowarrior mailing list

Reply via email to