Apple, Google and others support Microsoft's fight against secret data requests

Microsoft's recent lawsuit against the U.S. Justice Department that fights against gag orders for secret government data requests has the support of many companies, including from rivals like Apple and Google.

Reuters reports that the lawsuit, which Microsoft filed in April, had a deadline today for companies to file friend-of-the-court briefs. As it turns out, Microsoft has lots of friends for this particular case:

Microsoft's backers included the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, Delta Air Lines Inc , Eli Lilly and Co, BP America, the Washington Post, Fox News, the National Newspaper Association, Apple Inc, Alphabet Inc's Google, Inc, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and many others.

Microsoft claims that the U.S. Justice Department has violated the First and Fourth Amendments by ordering Microsoft to keep thousands of data requests from the government secret:

The Justice Department argues that Microsoft has no standing to bring the case and the public has a "compelling interest in keeping criminal investigations confidential." Procedural safeguards also protect constitutional rights, it contends. A Justice Department spokesman declined comment on Friday's filings.

There's no word on when the lawsuit will come to trial.

John Callaham