Microsoft doesn't have to give prosecutors emails stored on servers in Ireland, 2nd Circuit says
Emails of a Microsoft customer that are stored exclusively on a server in Ireland are beyond the reach of domestic search warrants issued under a 1986 federal law, a federal appeals court has ruled.
The New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled for Microsoft on Thursday in a case interpreting the Stored Communications Act, report Reuters, the New York Law Journal (sub. req.), Bloomberg News and the Volokh Conspiracy. How Appealing notes coverage and links to the opinion (PDF).
Reuters calls the decision “a victory for privacy advocates and for technology companies offering cloud computing and other services around the world.”
The U.S. government had sought the emails in a drug trafficking investigation. Federal prosecutors had argued that exempting the emails would create a loophole that could be exploited by criminals.
The decision overturns a July 2014 decision by a Manhattan federal judge, who said the law implicitly authorizes overseas production of data.