The US Supreme Court will now review whether the US law enforcement can use legal search warrants on emails located outside of the US. In US v. Microsoft legal battle, federal authorities had served the company with a warrant under the Stored Communications Act for emails of a foreign citizen that were stored on server located in Ireland.
When served with the search warrant, Microsoft refused to cooperate and give information to authorities. In July 2016, an appeals court ruled in favor of the company, deciding that the Stored Communications Act did not apply to communications that’s stored overseas. Microsoft yet again won when the appeals court refused to rehear the case.
Now the case is headed to US Supreme Court. The Supreme Court will now decide the fate of the Stored Communications Act. The court could potentially overturn or affirm the ruling. There’s a more important reason why this case is especially important. It would write in history as to how far reaching the Stored Communications Act is. This ruling will have a global impact because US tech companies serve all over the world.
Microsoft in an official statement today said that “The current laws were written for the era of the floppy disk, not the world of the cloud.” The company also voiced its support for the International Communications Privacy Act of 2017 (ICPA), which is a bill introduced this past July that would give “sensible ways to cross-border data access.” Specifically speaking, this would address the processes that aren’t currently addressed by existing law.
The case is expected to be heard in Supreme Court next year.