In Privacy Victory, Microsoft Wins Appeal Over Foreign Data Warrant

In what is being perceived as a major victory for privacy, Microsoft has won the reversal of a court order that required it to turn over to the United States government the contents of a customer’s email account stored on an Irish server. ZDNet reports: The case centered on a uniquely-different warrant that was issued by U.S. prosectors in that it was for data stored in an email account stored by Microsoft overseas. Prosecutors said that because the data was hosted by a U.S.-based company, Microsoft must comply. But the judges concluded that Congress did not intend the law used in the case — the Stored Communications Act — to apply outside the US. The judges said was a “rational policy outcome” and should be “celebrated as a milestone in protecting privacy.” The appeals court also reversed a charge of contempt, which allowed the company to trigger an appeal. The software giant has been battling U.S. prosecutors for two years over data held in its Dublin, Ireland datacenter, which it says cannot be accessed or retrieved by a US search warrant.

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