A federal magistrate judge denied Microsoft’s motion to quash a federal warrant for the search and seizure of  information from a web-based email account stored on one of the company’s Irish servers. In Re Warrant to  Search a Certain E-Mail Account Controlled and Maintained by Microsoft Corp., No. 13 Mag. 2814 (S.D.N.Y.  Apr. 25, 2014). Microsoft had previously produced certain non-content information (e.g., the user’s name and  address) stored on its servers in the United States, but moved to quash the remainder of a Stored  Communications Act (SCA) § 2703(a) warrant on the grounds that federal courts lack authority to issue such  warrants for property outside the United States.

However, the court found that a “warrant” issued pursuant to the SCA, obtained like a search warrant by  application to a neutral magistrate judge, should be treated like a subpoena “in that it is served on the [Internet  Service Provider (ISP)] in possession of the information and does not involve government agents entering the  premises of the ISP to search its servers and seize the e-mail account in question. . . . It has long been the law  that a subpoena requires the recipient to produce information in its possession, custody, or control regardless  of the location of that information.” Therefore, Microsoft was ordered to produce information within its control to  the government regardless of where the information was stored.