Court wants Microsoft to hand over foreign data

Sections: Computers

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Court wants Microsoft to hand over foreign dataMicrosoft must relinquish e-mails stored on an overseas server to U.S. authorities, a federal judge ruled on Thursday. This case allows the the government to reach into servers located abroad.

“It is a question of control, not a question of the location of that information,” ruled U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska.

According to the Obama Administration, any company operating in the United States must acquiesce to valid examination of data, even if the content is in overseas storage – which in this particular case was Dublin, Ireland.

Prior to Preska, a magistrate judged ruled that “the basic principle that an entity lawfully obligated to produce information must do so regardless of the location of that information.”

Microsoft and Apple argued that this was wrong.

In court filings, Microsoft stated “Congress has not authorized the issuance of warrants that reach outside US territory. The government cannot seek and a court cannot issue a warrant allowing federal agents to break down the doors of Microsoft’s Dublin facility.”

The Justice Department has said global jurisdiction is a necessity in a time when “electronic communications are used extensively by criminals of all types in the United States and abroad, from fraudsters to hackers to drug dealers, in furtherance of violations of US law.”

The e-mails U.S. authorities are requesting Microsoft to surrender are related to a drug-trafficking investigation.

Via [Ars Technica]

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