Microsoft strikes out in court, vows to appeal

Brad Smith Microsoft Structure 2014

A U.S. Federal court in New York ruled Thursday that Microsoft must turn over a customer’s information to U.S. authorities, even though that data resides in Ireland. Microsoft has argued that such information requests wrongly extend U.S. legal jurisdiction abroad.

The ruling came after a two-hour hearing in front of U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska, during which she said a search warrant approved by a federal magistrate judge required the company to hand over any data it controlled, regardless of where it was stored.

This is not the last word though. The judge also issued a stay of her ruling, giving the company time to appeal, according to AP reports. And, Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith vowed it would do so. In a prepared statement he said:

“The only issue that was certain this morning was that the District Court’s decision would not represent the final step in this process. We will appeal promptly and continue to advocate that people’s email deserves strong privacy protection in the U.S. and around the world.”

This is the latest in a series of events started in December when Microsoft was served with a search warrant requesting a customer’s email as part of a narcotics investigation.

For more on Microsoft’s data privacy stance check out Brad Smith’s discussion at Structure in June,

Photo by Jakub Mosur

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