In a landmark victory for privacy advocates, a federal appeals court ruled today that the U.S. government cannot force Microsoft to hand over customer emails stored on servers outside the country, reports Reuters.
In this case, Microsoft challenged a Justice Department warrant that sought emails related to a narcotics case that were kept on a server in Dublin, Ireland. Among the companies and groups that supported Microsoft’s appeal were Amazon, Apple, Cisco Systems, CNN, Fox News Network, Gannett and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
In the 3-0 decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan, Circuit Judge Susan Carney wrote: “Congress did not intend the SCA’s warrant provisions to apply extraterritorially. The focus of those provisions is protection of a user’s privacy interests.“