Is an email provider who has been served with a warrant required to provide emails, even when the emails are stored exclusively outside the United States?1
9-0 United States
7-2 United States
6-3 United States
Under 18 U.S.C. § 2703 requires a company in the United States to turn over information pursuant to a warrant. Microsoft was served with a warrant for emails, but these emails are stored in Dublin, Ireland. Microsoft refused to produce these emails stored in Ireland, but the trial court and the Second Circuit disagreed.
Microsoft position is that this is a warrant and warrants only apply in the United States. You can’t issue a warrant to turn over physical documents or things you have stored in Ireland, so why should you be able to do that with emails?
The United States position is that it’s not like physical things. Microsoft doesn’t have to go to Ireland to get these things.
- Brief of the States of Vt, Al, Ark, Co, Conn, De, Fl, Ill, Ind, Ia, Kan, Ky, La, Me, Md, Ma, Mi, Ne, NJ, NM, NY, NC, Oh, Ok, Or, Penn, RI, SC, Tx, Va, Wy, PR — in support of the United States
- Business decisions of private corporations shouldn’t control access to valuable evidence
- Brief of Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Sen. Christopher Coons (D-DE), Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) — in support of Microsoft
- Congress should be the ones that deals with this issue, not the Courts
- Brief of Former Law Enforcement, National Security, and Intelligence Officials — in support of neither party
- Arguing that this case is not a proper vehicle to analyze this question; congress has a bill in the works to fix this issue.
- Brief of the European Commission on Behalf of the European Union — in support of neither party
- Arguing that who ever wins, you gotta take into consideration European laws if you’re pulling European data
- Brief of Ireland — In support of neither party
- Just a heads up: we have a treaty between the US and Ireland that says you can execute US warrants on Irish soil and how.
- Brief of 51 Computer Scientists — in support of Microsoft
- Includes: Matt Blaze, who is on the board of the TOR project, and a crypto guy;
- Argument: basically geography matters to accessing data, even in the cloud.