Apple, Amazon and Microsoft File a Brief in Court Supporting Google’s Decision to Resist an FBI Warrant

Posted by at 10:08 am on March 14, 2017

Apple has joined Amazon and Microsoft in a court filing which supports Google’s decision to resist an FBI warrant demanding that it hand over emails stored outside the USA. The tech companies argue that this would set a ‘troubling’ precedent.

Business Insider reports that the FBI served search warrants ordering Google to hand over emails belonging to suspects in a criminal investigation. The emails in question were stored on a server stored outside the USA, and Google refused, arguing that a domestic search warrant could not apply to data stored in a foreign country …

A Pennsylvania court disagreed, instructing Google to comply with the warrant. Google appealed the ruling, and Apple, Amazon and Microsoft have now filed a joint amicus brief to express their view of Google in the case.

The brief argues that the current law does not permit this, and it is for Congress  to make this call.  Plus foreign nations could reciprocate by demanding that local offices of U.S. technology companies turn over U.S. citizens’ private communications stored on U.S. soil. It also puts technology firms that store customer data abroad in the position of being compelled to risk violating foreign data privacy laws to comply with warrants issued by U.S. courts.

The tech companies argue that Congress should consider carefully the implications of applying U.S. search warrants to data held in other countries. Doing such

This case addresses the reach of the Stored Communications Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2701 et seq., which Congress enacted as part of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986. Technology has changed dramatically since the SCA became law.

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