Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 1st Mar 2018 01:00 UTC, submitted by Alfman
Legal

Should the United States government be able to conduct a search of your emails if they are stored on a server in another country, or does the government’s right to examine digital evidence stop at the border?

That is a central question in United States v. Microsoft, a case scheduled to be argued on Tuesday before the Supreme Court.

Both sides in the case have legitimate concerns. If the court sides with Microsoft and declines to allow searches for data stored in another country, the government will be hampered in investigating crimes like terrorism, child pornography and fraud.

If the court sides with the government and rules that it may demand data stored overseas by American companies, those companies will find it much harder to do business abroad. This is because many foreigners fear that United States warrants authorizing such searches will disregard privacy protections afforded by their country. The government of Germany, a country with stringent privacy laws, has already indicated it will not use any American company for its data services if the court decides to allow searches.

At this point, I feel like it's just safer to assume all data stored online or sent from one device to the next is essentially not secure in the sense that no one will be able to read if they really wanted to. It's not the way it should be, but I don't think there's a whole lot we can do about it - regardless of the outcome of legal cases such as this one.

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RE[3]: Sticky situation
by Alfman on Thu 1st Mar 2018 15:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Sticky situation"
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

jessesmith,

I would say that the reverse situation would make sense. If an Irish company, for example, were to open a new office in the USA, then Irish courts would be able to demand documents be handed over from the American branch.

In short, I think companies need to follow the laws of each country they set up shop in. If they face issues (like contempt of court) from contradicting laws then that is part of the cost of doing business.


Your second paragraph contradicts your first paragraph.


How far are you willing to take a breach of jurisdiction? If an Irish court makes a legal request to a corporate subsidiary registered in the US operating on US soil, requesting information about US citizens also in the US, do you think that should be honored?

Edited 2018-03-01 15:46 UTC

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