Judge tells Microsoft: Your Irish email servers are American expats!!

loretta-preska-microsoft-ireland.jpg

Preska: All in a day's work.

If tech savvy could be represented by a location on Earth, the American legal system would be in a submarine deep in the Marianas Trench, faxing documents to blind fish. Thanks to a federal court ruling we've learned, along with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), that email servers in Ireland aren't really in Ireland, or fall under EU jurisdiction!

Of course that is a statement most sane people would find ludicrous, preposterous, silly even! But most people aren't federal judges either.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers struggle to understand archaic WordPerfect documents.

Filling in for our humble blogwatcher Richi Jennings, is a humbler Stephen Glasskeys.

 

Jaikumar Vijayan doesn't know where to save data now:

In a decision that could have broad privacy implications, a federal court...ordered Microsoft to comply with a U.S. government demand for a customer's emails stored on a company server in Dublin, Ireland.  MORE

 

Grant Gross appeals to our common sense:

Microsoft will appeal Preska's ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, the company said. Microsoft has argued that the DOJ has no authority to issue warrants related to emails stored outside the U.S.  MORE

 

Zack Whittaker volunteers at lunch time:

Some people volunteer at shelters. Some people play video games. Some work tirelessly for 80 hours a week.

...

Some destroy the global trust in the US technology industry.

...

In a single two-hour courtroom session...just in time for lunch...US District Judge Loretta Preska ruled on a case that has massive global implications for US technology giants.  MORE

 

Microsoft's Brad Smith volunteers a bit as well:

Microsoft believes you own emails stored in the cloud, and that they have the same privacy protection as paper letters sent by mail. This means, in our view, that the U.S. government can obtain emails only subject to the full legal protections of the Constitution's Fourth Amendment. It means, in this case, that the U.S. government must have a warrant. But under well-established case law, a search warrant cannot reach beyond U.S. shores.  MORE

 

The argument doesn't end there for Michael Endler:

In the wake of the NSA surveillance scandal, some foreign governments and businesses have been hesitant to use U.S. tech products. At this time last year, experts estimated that the damage to the US tech sector's reputation might cost domestic cloud companies $45 billion.  MORE

 

Although concerned, Nick Wingfield opens Pandora's box anyway:

The Microsoft case is believed to be the first time that an American company has fought against a domestic search warrant for data stored overseas.

...

Craig A. Newman, a lawyer with Richards Kibbe & Orbe who was present in the courtroom...but is not involved in the case, said the decision could lead to a clash between European and United States privacy laws.

...

"This type of ruling is going to open up a Pandora’s box of concerns by European countries," Mr. Newman said.  MORE

 

Meanwhile, Tim Worstall spots trouble everywhere:

The server is in Ireland, the email is in Ireland. But still legal jurisdiction is being claimed by the US over it. And...Microsoft has a problem...to obey the US court order is to breach EU law.  MORE

Computerworld Blogs Newsletter

Subscribe now to the Blogs Newsletter for a daily summary of the most recent and relevant blog posts at Computerworld.  

From CIO: 8 Free Online Courses to Grow Your Tech Skills
Join the discussion
Be the first to comment on this article. Our Commenting Policies