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    New York Times: Judge Rules That Microsoft Must Turn Over Data Stored in Ireland

    The News York Times reports on a case concerning the privacy and the data of Microsoft customers:

    Microsoft has suffered a setback in its efforts to block federal prosecutors from seizing a customer’s data that is stored overseas.

    Judge Loretta A. Preska of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on Thursday upheld a magistrate judge’s ruling that Microsoft must turn over the customer’s emails, held in a Microsoft data center in Ireland. Big technology companies have rallied around Microsoft in the case, seeing the ruling as a potential threat to their plans to offer cloud computing services overseas.

    Microsoft plans to appeal the ruling. Judge Preska agreed to stay her order while the company pursues the appeal.

    The issue at the heart of the case is whether communications kept in overseas data centers operated by American companies are beyond the reach of domestic search warrants. Microsoft has argued that federal prosecutors cannot seize the data in Ireland because United States law does not apply there, even though Microsoft controls everything in its data center there. […]

    The Microsoft case is believed to be the first time that an American company has fought against a domestic search warrant for data stored overseas. […]

    Individuals and corporate users of technology increasingly rely on services that store email, documents and other private data in the cloud. Technology companies like Microsoft are building data centers around the world to meet that demand.

    But customers in some countries are concerned that the ruling in this case could mean that their private data would be accessible to American law enforcement.

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