Apple, Amazon and more tech companies support Microsoft's email privacy stance in court

Microsoft is getting a ton of support for its stance on not disclosing emails stored on one of its servers in Ireland to the US government. A number of major tech companies, including some of Microsoft's direct rivals such as Apple and Amazon, have submitted "friend of the court" briefs today, in support of the company's decision to keep the content of those emails private.

US federal prosecutors got approval from a judge a year ago for a search warrant to look at emails stored on that server. However, Microsoft has been fighting this move ever since, claiming that a domestic search warrant cannot be enforced on emails that are stored on an overseas server.

Today, Microsoft said:

"We believe that when one government wants to obtain email that is stored in another country, it needs to do so in a manner that respects existing domestic and international laws. In contrast, the U.S. Government's unilateral use of a search warrant to reach email in another country puts both fundamental privacy rights and cordial international relations at risk. And as today's briefs demonstrate, the impacts of this step are far-reaching."

Besides Apple and Amazon, companies such as Verizon, Cisco, Salesforce, HP, eBay, Infor, AT&T, and Rackspace filed their own briefs in support of Microsoft's stances. They were joined by organizations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Center for Democracy & Technology, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. A number of major media companies have also supported Microsoft with their own briefs, including CNN, ABC, Fox News, Forbes, the Washington Post, the New York Daily News and others.

Source: Microsoft (opens in new tab)

61 Comments
  • Good. But where's Google?
  • On the opposition maybe?
  • Google is a bit** .. Don't expect anything from google
  • W​hy would El Goog support anything good and reasonable these days?
  • Google said as long as they can use the emails to send more targeted advertisements that they are good with releasing the information requested:)
  • Google doesn't support privacy, or like Microsoft.
  • The silence from Google's side speaks volumes about how they feel about your privacy
  • The silence is deafening.
  • Yea, and where was Facebook as well? Funny, that. This is so essential. If the US govt. get hold of your emails you know what comes next, you get shoved in the back of a van and shipped off to who knows where for a spot of anal probing. Well, even CIA men have to have hobbies...
  • That there is both chilling (non exciting) and funny at the same time.
  • My immediate thought as well. Amazing they are not there.
  • Google and privacy?? Bloody shit scroogle
  • Trick question right? Google doesn't "do" privacy.
  • Google has eyes everywhere... EVERYWHERE.
  • You should add the Microsoft video in their Channel explaining this case
    .it has just been published http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxNZRSuuTzg
  • That was awesome! Hopefully that starts trending on YouTube, make people realize what Good Guy Microsoft is doing for privacy. :)
  • Yeah this should be viral on YouTube. But scroogle will not let it be. It's their concern. May be they will remove the video..
  • Thanks for sharing!
  • thanks for the link, nice video..
  • Wow. I didn't think you could get all those companies/organizations to agree on anything.
  • I dunno.... I think they can all pretty much agree "f**k Google"
  • Governmental invasion of privacy undermines the trust consumers have in the companies that provide services and products to us all. That is a major problem for us all. The thing is we lowly consumers don't have any power to fight, where as major corporations have the money and power to fight. This is a perfect example of just that. I'm glad to see all these companies come together and support both Microsoft and privacy.
  • Rock on! Such amazing times we live in. Now if companies and the government can come to an agreement regarding net neutrality, we'll be good.
  • +1
  • Funny that, living in amazing times, all generations experience those thoughts. Makes one think, dream way ahead, say another 100 years. What will be different? I think not too much, if it all, things will appear the same, just like the 1940's, 50's, etc., only difference, even for today; technology. Otherwise, same problems.
  • All hail Microsoft! MS is love, MS is life!
    Edit: After re-reading the end of the article, it's amazing how much support they've gotten. I'm so proud of Microsoft, they really are a company worth me being a fan-boy too.
  • "[not"?
  • Yeah, that caught my eye, too.
  • HAHAHAHA NO GOOGLE. FCK THEM.
  • Wow! That's a lot of support...
  • Microsoft rules!
  • ..., and Bill Gate run for president.
  • Lol.
  • We are to blame just as much. It all starts with citizens complaining. It all starts with you. You may think you're wasting your time, that one person wont change anything. Change is possible look at how gay people are being accepted more these days than 10 years ago. This was but a small group, a minority. No single raindrop believes it is to be blame for the flooding.
  • How are we to blame? As I understand this case the US government wanted to use a search warrant obtained through a US court to get access to data on Microsoft servers in Ireland, something no other country would do. If you want data from servers in another country then you go through the courts in that country to get a search warrant.
  • You missed the boat completely regarding his comment. He said if we complain, we can make a difference. To answer your question, we, the US, are to blame for it is our government trying to get interrupt another countries sovereignty.
  • Read his comment again and then tell me how it relates specifically to the US!!
  • Just ignore the first sentence and you get his point. I think he mixed his words up.
  • love u Microsoft
  • Let me get this straight. The Feds want email from MS stored in Ireland but claim all of Lois Lerner's IRS emails are gone and won't even check the backups to find them? You go MS et al. Give 'em hell.
  • Well said. Once again, another example of Google's lack of concern for people's privacy (more like specific invasion of privacy) that will be ignored by most of the users of Google services.
  • I never thought of Amazon as a competitor of Microsoft.
  • They compete in cloud services, Azure vs AWS.
  • A good a reasonable stance by Microsoft as for google there is no such thing as privacy to them it's how they make their money.
  • that picture of a wrinkled Microsoft brand napkin again?
  • Wait... They have NAPKINS?! well, time to get a job early.
  • where is your google now fandroids ??? i guess they are so busy giving your data to organizations and goverments that they don't even notice what's going on with other companies.... LONG LIVE MICROSOFT . LONG LIVE THE QUEEN...wait! what !
  • Glad to see their taking a stand. I hope people remember this when they speak of MS as a bumbling corporate empire
  • Most people like ty try to say Microsoft is horrible based on what they have done in the past, but everyone is able to redeem themselves, especially when a cooperation gets the right person in charge, then they have the power to enact change
  • *to
  • It is interesting that even Fox is there on the list.
  • Why is it interesting Fox News is on this?
  • The Obama administration at it's finest!
  • I'm all for privacy unless its the privacy of some asshole who is planning to cut peoples heads of on a New York subway train with a shiny new sword he just ordered from Ireland while yelling Allah Akbar for all to hear.
  • Killers have no religion.
  • Typical bloody American government! Think they own everything! Nice to see the stance from more than Microsoft!
  • Uhh, I didnt vote for the last two knobs to occupy the White House....they dont speak for me. More money for the big guys, to heck with the little guys. Still though, I've always been an MS fan and will continue to be a fan. As an aside, whooda thunk Ted Cruz and Elizabeth Warren both voted against the same bill (albeit for different reasons) Heck I'd take Bill Clinton over the goof occupying the White House now.
  •    It's good to see that there are some things that rivals can agree on.
  • Rivals are supporting us, it's a great achievement for us. However, Google knows their weakness. There no other option then to be silence.
  • HEEELLLLPPPP!!;! I HAVE THE NOKIA LUMIA 930 I cannot play most games as it says I need a better flash player....then when I try to install one ut doesn't accept it!!!!! WHAT DO I DO???
  • I look at it this way, I would NOT want agency from another company accessing my without going through the proper channels. Those channels are there for a reason. US is NOT above the law.