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FBI Asks Congress to Re-Write Search Warrant Rules
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Microsoft, FBI, Justice Department, search warrants

Summary: Microsoft is in the middle of a heated battle with the federal government regarding a search warrant asking for emails stored on a server in Ireland. 

Microsoft is in the middle of a heated battle with the federal government regarding a search warrant asking for emails stored on a server in Ireland, according to Gigaom.

  
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Microsoft is go adamant against the search warrant that it is risking a contempt of court charge in the case in order to prove to computer customers in other countries that the data they have is safe from surveillance by the United States.

The fight by Microsoft is being supported by Cisco and Apple, but their battle could be undercut by the FBI.

The FBI is asking Congress to rewrite the rules for search warrants so it can have an expanded reach. Should Congress rewrite the rules, search warrants would not be limited to just geographic locations within the United States.

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According to National Journal, Congress has been asked to change Rule 41 of the criminal procedure to permit judges to approve electronic surveillance to search a computer’s contents no matter where it is located, even if it is abroad.

Microsoft lost the first round of the battle to the Justice Department back in July. The judge accepted the argument that the search did not take place in Ireland since the emails were actually read in the United States.



To read more stories about the Justice Department, click here.

Microsoft claims that the interpretation by the judge amounts to “allowing federal agents to break down the doors of Microsoft’s Dublin facilities.”

The company has also argued that American courts should not be allowed to issue search warrants that can be used abroad. The company said that law enforcement from the United States should work with foreign entities through mutual assistance treaties.

The case has reached the procedural stage in front of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York.

To read more about the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, click here.

Will Microsoft be victorious in this case? Share your thoughts using our poll.

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Image credit: Microsoft



 

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