July 30, 2014

Three Cheers for Redmond!

Microsoft is fighting for full Fourth Amendment protection of your email in the cloud. General counsel and executive vice president for legal and corporate affairs, Brad Smith, has a guest editorial in the WSJ today describing the principles and tactics:

Microsoft believes you own emails stored in the cloud, and that they have the same privacy protection as paper letters sent by mail. This means, in our view, that the U.S. government can obtain emails only subject to the full legal protections of the Constitution's Fourth Amendment. It means, in this case, that the U.S. government must have a warrant. But under well-established case law, a search warrant cannot reach beyond U.S. shores.

The government seeks to sidestep these rules, asserting that emails you store in the cloud cease to belong exclusively to you. In court filings, it argues that your emails become the business records of a cloud provider. Because business records have a lower level of legal protection, the government claims that it can use its broader authority to reach emails stored anywhere in the world.

Technology Posted by John Kranz at July 30, 2014 11:52 AM
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