Microsoft Dublin e-mail case closed

Image: IDGNS

18 April 2018

The United States Supreme Court has dropped the case against Microsoft which would have required it to produce an e-mail stored on a Dublin server, outside of the usual international instruments.

The case between the US Department of Justice and Microsoft has been rumbling for many years, with some fearing its outcome would have significant implications for US companies providing cloud computing services internationally.

Now, the case has been declared moot as much of what has underpinned it has been supplanted by the recently passed Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (CLOUD) Act.

The new act allows federal law enforcement to compel US-based technology companies, via subpoena or warrant, to fulfil data requests regardless of whether the data are stored in the US, or on foreign soil.

This essentially places in the law the feared outcome of the email demand case, leaving many to fear that US-based providers of cloud services might be put at a disadvantage on the international stage by having to comply with such an act.

It is understood that the US DoJ issued a new order to Microsoft under the act, which has been complied with, handing over data that has been protected since 2013.

Issues remain as to precedence and jurisdiction, especially where requests might be made for financial or banking details. Which laws, from which jurisdictions take precedence where a clash occurs?

While there is very likely relief in Redmond at resolution of one issue, the CLOUD Act may still cause friction for US-based service providers that may result in certain customers shying away to avoid potential conflicts.

TechCentral Reporters


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