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Search warrants extend to emails stored overseas, U.S. judge rules in Microsoft case

Loek Essers | April 29, 2014
Microsoft said it will continue to fight the ruling as part of its data privacy commitments to its customers.

Microsoft disagrees with the decision, said David Howard, Corporate Vice President & Deputy General Counsel at Microsoft in a blog post

While the law is complicated, the issue is straightforward, he said: "It's generally accepted that a U.S. search warrant in the physical world can only be used to obtain materials that are within the territory of the United States," he said, adding that therefore, the U.S. government should not have the power to search the content of email stored overseas.

This procedure is just a start though. "When we filed this challenge we knew the path would need to start with a magistrate judge, and that we'd eventually have the opportunity to bring the issue to a U.S. district court judge and probably to a federal court of appeals," Howard said.

"We'll continue to pursue this issue because we believe we're right on the law and because our customers have told us they value our privacy commitments," he said.  


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