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

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: Sticky situation
by ilovebeer on Thu 1st Mar 2018 15:47 UTC in reply to "Sticky situation"
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Tax evasion and the question of legality over demanding materials stored outside US borders don't equate in any way.

The idea that US law has or should have jurisdiction in other countries is absurd and for the Supreme Court to rule otherwise would be incredibly reckless, and pointless. No country is going to willingly agree US law supercedes their own. If a US agency wants materials stored in foreign lands, it will have to use either diplomacy to obtain the proper subpoena or warranty from the target country, or just take the materials illegally, both of which is how it works now. US companies don't get to just open shop elsewhere, they have to license themselves as businesses within their host country and are subject to all the local laws and regulations. They may be owned by a US entity but that doesn't grant any special privilege to the US govt.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Sticky situation
by shotsman on Fri 2nd Mar 2018 07:02 in reply to "RE: Sticky situation"
shotsman Member since:

This could get really nasty.
If Company M has data in Country I and Country U (where M is legally incorporated) wants that data which is against the laws of Country I there is ample justification for Country I taking over the assets of M to protect its own citizens. The leader of U will throw a hissy fit and retaliate.

And so begins a trade war.
Probably going to happen over U's latest issue with Steel and Aluminium etc.

Laws of unintended consequences are just not on the radar of Politicians. To them and especially in U, it is all about getting re-elected or rather getting the vast funds needed to bribe the electorate into voting for you again.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: Sticky situation
by ilovebeer on Sat 3rd Mar 2018 15:56 in reply to "RE[2]: Sticky situation"
ilovebeer Member since:

Be it land, resources, other humans, or data, there's been a tug-of-war over possession/ownership since the dawn of man. History teaches us this is just a part of human nature and probably won't ever stop. It *is* in fact a really sticky situation but outside of using diplomacy and/or illegal & criminal activities to get what they're after, I don't know that there are really any other tangible options. The US Supreme Court and rule however they want but if the US thinks they're going to declare their laws overrule the laws of all other sovereign nations where US companies do business, they can expect a very firm G-F-Y in response.

The one thing they probably can do legally is punish companies homeland entities. Whatever the Supreme Court ruling is, we already know the outcome - they will get what they want either legally or illegally - but they will get what they want.

Reply Parent Score: 3