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Microsoft Wins Against US Govt – No More Handing Over Overseas Data

Microsoft, US Government, Edward Snowden

Since the Snowden episode of revelation of mass global surveillance by US intelligence agencies, various governments started forcing tech companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft to set-up and maintain their servers within the boundaries of their respective countries to keep them within the reach of law.

The US government has had the power to force US-based tech companies to hand over data stored in data centers beyond US orders with a court order. But now the game is changing with the recent court decision. Such data centers could once again prove to be a safe haven.

No More Tyranny of US Government Beyond It’s Boundaries

The Stored Communications Act which allows the US govt to ask for domestically stored from the tech companies but this does not apply to electronic data stored overseas.

Microsoft had handed over all the data stored in it’s US based servers but refused to comply with the DoJ for the data stored in it’s servers in Ireland.

A Safe Haven Abroad

All the Circuit judges favored Microsoft ruling that the act when formed by Congress was not intended to apply outside the United States.

So the decision limits the DoJ’s ability to collect any foreign communications data from data centers beyond US borders.

Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith applauded the ruling, saying:

It hasn’t been revealed yet whether the person involved in the drug trafficking case was a US citizen or not. Also, the DoJ might appeal against the ruling further.

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