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Microsoft Claims Location Not Ownership Protects Customers Emails
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Summary: The legal battle between Microsoft and the U.S. government over the release of client information that is stored on a server in another country will be ending soon.

Microsoft is fighting with all they have to keep their customer’s email information store in foreign countries protected. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, however, is having a hard time buying their argument that despite their ownership of the servers, the location is what matters.


The lawyers for Microsoft warn that a “global chaos” would ensue if the U.S. government were given the right to seize private information from customers in foreign countries. They fear that this would set a precedent for other countries to attempt the same thing for customers in the U.S.

The case stemmed from the desire by investigators to have access to the accounts for a narcotics probe. The emails were stored on a server in Dublin, Ireland. The Southern District Attorney argues against Microsoft stating that it is not a violation of the Stored Communications Act because Microsoft owns the records so the location does not matter.

Another fear that Microsoft and other technology companies such as Apple, Inc. fear is that foreign tech companies will have an advantage over them if they are able to keep their customers emails protected but Microsoft or Apple have to hand over accounts to the U.S. government.

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