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European Data Protection – Microsoft ‘must release’ data held on Dublin server – BBC News


A judge in the US has ordered Microsoft to hand over a customer’s emails, even though the data is held in Ireland.

The company had attempted to challenge the search warrant on the basis that the information was stored exclusively on computer servers outside the US.

Microsoft previously said it planned to offer business and government clients control over where their data resided.

This followed concerns about data privacy raised by whistleblower Edward Snowden’s leaks about US spying.

But the ruling potentially undermines that pledge.

The judge said warrants for online data were different to other warrants.

The search warrant, which was issued to Microsoft by US authorities, sought information associated with a member of the public’s email account including their name, credit card details and contents of all messages.

Microsoft said it would continue to oppose the release of the Dublin-stored data.

“This is the first step toward getting this issue in front of courts that have the authority to correct the government’s longstanding views on the application of search warrants to content stored digitally outside the United States,” it said.

Law enforcement efforts would be seriously impeded and the burden on the government would be substantial if they had to co-ordinate with foreign governments to obtain this sort of information from internet service providers such as Microsoft and Google, Judge Francis said.

In a blog post, Microsoft’s deputy general counsel, David Howard, said: “A US prosecutor cannot obtain a US warrant to search someone’s home located in another country, just as another country’s prosecutor cannot obtain a court order in her home country to conduct a search in the United States.


Take away message.

Who does this judge think he is?

European laws uphold data protection.  The data is held within Europe, therefore Data Protection and ECHR Article 8 applies.  Article 8 can be waived, with a court order from Ireland to release the data.

This judge is arguing that US law has global sovereignty.  Clearly the US cannot claim global sovereignty, that is irrational.

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