U.S. court has decided that Microsoft has to give some emails to the U.S. government. Microsoft says that an U.S. court should have the ability to ask for foreign emails.
The case is about an order of an U.S. court to get access to certain email which are stored in Ireland. It’s not clear what emails are being asked for.
Microsoft said that an American court should not be able to make such an order to get access to email which are not stored in the U.S.. That’s why Microsoft appealed the order, but Microsoft did not win the appeal.
U.S. secret services already have access to this kind of information, even if the information is stored outside the US. They can use this information because of the Patriot Act. But this is not an investigation of the U.S. secret services, this is a criminal investigation by the U.S. Attorney.
The U.S. court believes that it doesn’t matter where the information is stored, as long as Microsoft manages it. This means that when they get ordered to give out some information, they have to obey. Microsoft does not need to hand over the mails immediately: the company may first appeal.
It is not yet known whether Microsoft is appealing, but probably it is. The company said earlier that the court order violates several international treaties. They also believe that this will “deteriorate the privacy of everyone around the world”