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Extraterritorial law enforcement over Microsoft emails

Posted on 3rd August 2014

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Although I am no fan of Microsoft, as you may have guessed from some of my other posts, this BBC story makes me feel a little sympathetic towards the company.

A court in the USA has determined that Microsoft must hand over email data of some clients, stored on servers in Dublin, the Irish capital, outside the USA's legal jurisdiction, needed as part of a drug-trafficking trial in the USA.

The latest case is only the latest stage in the battle, and Microsoft intends to appeal again, so the issue is not yet closed.

The thing that I find bizarre is that Microsoft is currently fighting this case in the US courts. I would have thought that the Irish courts would have a strong opinion about who has jurisdiction over data held on servers in Ireland, and a court order from an Irish court barring Microsoft from handing over the data would be easy (and cheaper) to achieve.

I really think that it is time that someone stood up to the USA and its extraterritorial legislation and law enforcement, and this case seems an ideal test case.