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Government Asks SCOTUS to Overturn Microsoft Decision on Overseas Data

Thursday, July 6, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: ACEDS Marketing Team
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Extract from "Government Asks SCOTUS to Overturn Microsoft Decision on Overseas Data" by Ben Hancock, The Recorder; posted on Legaltech News

A SCOTUS decision could introduce some clarity over whether prosecutors can enforce warrants for private data stored abroad in the cloud.

The Department of Justice on Friday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a landmark appeals court decision handed down last summer in favor of Microsoft Corp. that put company data stored overseas mostly out of reach of U.S. law enforcement.

If the government’s petition is taken up by the high court, its decision could introduce some measure of clarity in the multiple legal battles playing out around the country over whether prosecutors can enforce warrants for private data stored abroad in the cloud.

But for major tech giants like Microsoft and Google Inc., a resolution of the issue by the court may still be less than ideal. Companies have been advocating—so far unsuccessfully—for legislation that would allow them to cooperate with U.S. law enforcement while being sensitive to other national authorities, and have argued that the current legal framework is inadequate.

“It seems backward to keep arguing in court when there is positive momentum in Congress toward better law for everyone,” Brad Smith, Microsoft’s chief legal officer, said in a blog post responding to the DOJ petition Friday. “The DOJ’s position would put businesses in impossible conflict-of-law situations and hurt the security, jobs, and personal rights of Americans.”

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