Supreme Court tosses out DOJ case against Microsoft

Microsoft

Supreme Court tosses out DOJ case against Microsoft

But the case is not entirely over, because of the new Justice Department warrant against Microsoft, which the company said last month would be examined.

New legislation allowing warrants to reach emails held on overseas servers has made moot a pending U.S. Supreme Court case involving Microsoft, the high court ruled on Tuesday.

Since then, the U.S. Congress passed The CLOUD (Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data) Act.

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In a brief per-curium, or unsigned, order, the Court dismissed United States v. Microsoft. Though it seems contradictory, Microsoft actually backed The CLOUD Act, which stipulates that cloud providers comply with court orders for data regardless of whether the information is located in the USA or not.

The Supreme Court heard arguments in February over Microsoft's ongoing data privacy case involving email stored in Microsoft datacenter in Ireland. Today the justices threw out a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, explaining that the case had become moot.

"No live dispute remains between the parties over the issue with respect to which certiorari was granted", the court said.

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"The parties agree that the new warrant has replaced the original warrant".

The Supreme Court noted that prosecutors had already obtained a new warrant for the emails under the new law.

Microsoft was one of the chief advocates for the act and celebrated its passage as "an important milestone in the journey to modernize the law, enable enforcement officials to do their jobs and protect people's privacy rights across borders". The Cloud Act, as it's known, makes clear that USA warrants apply around the world and clarifies what data the government can access.

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Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith has said Microsoft backed The CLOUD Act because it sets the stage for governments to establish the worldwide agreements between them to establish a framework for these kinds of cases.

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