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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imthefrizzlefry
Member since:
2010-10-28

I think the Supreme Court can say whatever they want, and it won't matter. That court only has jurisdiction within the United States. Even if you are a U.S. Citizen overseas, without the cooperation of the country in which someone resides the US judicial system cannot bring you back to the country.

I think, if the US Government wants that data, they will need to request it from the country the data resides in. Microsoft should tell the court to go over there and try to get it themselves... we'll see how well that goes.

Reply Score: 1

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

You really don't see how the Supreme Court/authorities could make life ...difficult for the US entity of Microsoft if MS ignored the ruling?

Reply Parent Score: 3