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News Link • Justice and Judges

Microsoft fights U.S. search warrant for customer e-mails held in overseas server

• Washington Post

In what could be a landmark case, the Redmond, Wash., company is arguing that such a warrant is not justified by law or the Constitution. Microsoft and other tech firms also fear that if the government prevails and can reach across borders, foreign individuals and businesses will flee to their non-U.S. competitors.

The materials sought by the government are e-mails held in a Microsoft data center in Ireland and connected to a drug-trafficking investigation.

The battle, which began in December when a magistrate judge in New York issued the warrant, also raises significant economic and diplomatic issues for U.S. companies that store mounds of data for others as part of the burgeoning cloud computing industry, which has been battered in the wake of revelations about its cooperation with U.S. spy agencies conducting broad surveillance.

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