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Ruling Against Microsoft Adds to Tech Industry's Privacy Headaches

Ruling Against Microsoft Adds to Tech Industry's Privacy Headaches
Photograph by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Microsoft on July 31 lost the latest battle in a legal war against government demands that it turn over copies of e-mails it stores in Ireland.

Last year the U.S. applied for a search warrant for e-mails of an unnamed user of Microsoft’s msn.com related to a drug investigation. The contents of the e-mails were stored on a server in Ireland. Microsoft refused to comply on the basis that the U.S. has no authority to issue a search warrant outside its territory, arguing that the government should instead act through its mutual legal assistance treaty with Ireland. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which supports Microsoft’s position, has a good rundown of events in the case, including various filings.