New Ruling Forces Defiant Microsoft to Hand Over Data Held Ireland

Posted by at 6:19 pm on August 30, 2014

Microsoft-LogoA stay giving Microsoft permission to deny a warrant ordering email release from a user whose data is stored in Ireland has been lifted by Judge Loretta Preska. As a result of the order, issued on August 29, Microsoft has until September 5 to coordinate with the US Department of Justice and inform the court how it will comply with the original court order, demanding Microsoft surrender the data. Microsoft promises to fight the order, and does not intend to hand over the data.

The software company believes that additional steps need to be taken to retrieve the email in order to comply with international laws. According to Microsoft, provisions of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act didn’t extend to areas outside of the United States. Microsoft attorneys also argued that Congress hasn’t “authorized the issuance of warrants that reach outside US territory” and that such warrants are mandatory for Microsoft to comply with turning over the data stored overseas.

“Microsoft will not be turning over the emails, and plans to appeal,” the company said in a brief statement about the ruling.

Microsoft believes that the request should be funneled through the Irish government to be properly obtained and to not violate international sovereignty and various treaties between nations. Several companies and organizations came to the aid of Microsoft, including Verizon and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The individual whose data has been requested has not yet been named. Not clear is why the data only resides on the servers based in Ireland.

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