United States v. Microsoft Corp.


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

  1. We talked about this case in Episode 51. More information about the case can be found here

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.


The Congress passed the CLOUD Act, which makes this case moot.

Amicus Briefs

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