0370 270 6000

US court requires disclosure of overseas data: Microsoft lose latest round of litigation

15 August 2014

Microsoft has been ordered by a US judge to release information on individuals held on Irish servers owned by Microsoft Netherlands. In a heavily protested ruling, a US District Court upheld a US Magistrate decision denying an order sought by Microsoft to quash a search warrant executed under the US Stored Communications Act.

Microsoft argued the warrant could not extend beyond US shores and was in breach of Irish and European data protection laws. The judge held the issue was not one of location but rather control.

In a blog commenting on the initial decision Microsoft’s Corporate VP and Deputy General Counsel stated “The U.S. government doesn’t have the power to search a home in another country, nor should it have the power to search the content of email stored overseas.”

Commentators believe US companies are worried that the order could cost billions in foreign revenue if people believe their data is subject to US federal scrutiny.

Microsoft plan to appeal, the outcome of which could have worldwide implications for data protection protocols.

Related opinions

80% hours for 100% pay? That’ll do nicely

As has been widely reported this week, some 3,000 UK workers are taking part in a six month trial to assess the viability of a four-day working week without any reduction in their normal pay.

View blog

Right to Work Checks: Changes from 6 April 2022

From 6 April 2022, right to work checks on all migrant or settled prospective employees must be online and checks on British or Irish nationals will be manual (free) or digital (charged for).

View blog

Are whistleblowers entitled to keep their employer’s confidential documents?

In Nissan v Passi, the High Court recently considered the issue of an employee retaining confidential documents belonging to his former employer in the context of the employer’s application for an injunction seeking the return of such documents from the employee.

View blog

Automated Vehicles - the next junction in the legal landscape

As a developing area, key stakeholders in this space such as insurers, and technology and software developers looking to become ASDEs or NUIC operators, should keep a keen eye on whether the Government proceeds with introducing new legislation in line with the report’s recommendations.

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up