Microsoft has filed an appeal from a magistrate’s decision to issue a search warrant requiring Microsoft to turn over to the U.S. government emails stored on a server in Ireland. Microsoft’s principal argument is that warrants issued under the Stored Communications Act (a part of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act) do not apply extraterritorially. The appeal is now before a federal judge in the Southern District of New York. Steptoe filed a brief on behalf of Verizon Communications in support of Microsoft’s motion to vacate the search warrant. The Verizon brief emphasizes the “enormous detrimental impact” the government’s position would have on the international business of American cloud service providers, on international relations, and on customer privacy. AT&T, Apple and Cisco (jointly), and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have also filed briefs in support of Microsoft.
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