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Microsoft won't have to hand over data from servers in Ireland

A new ruling states that Microsoft will not have to hand over information that is stored on a server in Ireland to authorities in the U.S. This comes after a New York judge sided with law enforcement and penalized Microsoft for not complying. Following that initial ruling, a three judge panel at the Appeals Court ended up siding with Microsoft.

From the CNN Money report:

A federal judge in New York sided with law enforcement and penalized Microsoft by holding it in civil contempt of court.But a three judge panel at the Second District Court of Appeals has sided with Microsoft on Thursday, saying that "warrants traditionally carry territorial limitations.""The Stored Communications Act does not authorize courts to issue and enforce against U.S.-based service providers warrants for the seizure of customer email content that is stored exclusively on foreign servers," they wrote.

We've seen Apple put up a fight against the government this year, and now Microsoft is standing its ground. Privacy is important, and it is great to see big companies fighting to keep it that way.

Jared started off writing about mobile phones back when BlackBerry ruled the market, and Windows Mobile was kinda cool. Now, with a family, mortgage and other responsibilities he has no choice but to look for the best deals, and he's here to share them with you.

58 Comments
  • Apples fight was more of a publicity stunt. Microsofts fight was actually really important and I am glad they won.
  • The only reason you say it was "a publicity stunt" is because its Apple. Even in incidents regarding privacy for everyone you guys can't see past your blind fanboyism.
  • You calling people blind fanboys? Pot, kettle, you know the rest.
  • Not surpised that you don't even know the meaning of a word. Your obsessive behavior is disturbing.
  • And out are the usual personal attacks. So now commenting is obsessive behavior? You comment here a lot more than I do, trolling along in nearly every article. Apple has shown themselves to choose what is in their own interest, not what is in their customer's interest. Fight against the FBI getting into the phone of a murderer makes headlines. Apple willingly turning over data to track down someone who did a phishing attack to steal celeb nudies, well that is good because it makes them look like they are concerned - even though they could have done a lot more like two step verification long before they actually did. So yes, to back up Scabrat's original comment, Apple is all about the publicity stunt. So rather than attack others claiming that we are the ones who are obsessive, who "don't even know the meaning of a word" (which didn't make a bit of sense) try using actual facts and defend your position.
  • You started the attacks, its your MO. Happens every time.
  • No, you attacked the OP. You made the first attack against the entire community.
  • You started the attacks by claiming that it was attributed to Scabrat's "blind fanboyism" It is good to see when I do give an explanation about how Apple isn't as good and pure as you would like to believe (I know, here is where you will claim to be a Microsoft fanboy, which is funny in light of your first comment here) you steer clear of the actual discussion and instead claim that it is everyone else's fault.
  • Just pointing out that you obviously don't know what a fanboy is, after that you guys went off on one of your tantrums and only further confirmed my original factual statment. Please, stop wasting time.
  • I know, blame everyone else. It is my fault for not knowing what words mean. It is my fault for wasting time. I am the one starting personal attacks.  You were here, quietly minding your own business trying to treat a "blind fanboy" to a lesson when out of nowhere I, an obsessive who exudes an disturbing behavior, made a horrible, vicious, personal attack against your good name. Or something like that that you will tell people to feel better about yourself.
  • Wow you really have a victim complex. Chill out, you might live longer.
  • You are the one whining that you were personally attacked first, now you are claiming that I have a victim complex? I think you are showing very clearly what kind of person you really are. "Chill out, you might live longer." So you have given me a physical exam, and in your highly qualified opinion as a physician you can claim that I may have some physical problem? Mind sharing with us where you got your medical degree? And I am actually a little worried. You claimed that I am obsessive, and yet you know me well enough to make a medical recommendation. Have you been watching me at night, following me around?
  • hehehehe, oh man you guys are uptight For real, relax.
  • It is an attack.
  • Please do not feed the trolls. Thankyou.
  • Apple's fight was important. I'd apple just have in or lost then USA government agencies would be able to order any phone to be hackable. So, people in government would be able to see anyone's private info and could take advantage as well as anyone who had got the same abilitiy.
  • I'll get flamed for pushing back, but here goes.  You're wrong.  The order would not have required any phone to be hackable, it would only have required companies to assist in exploiting vulnerabilities that are already there.  Regardless of whether it was Apple or a third party doing the work, they couldn't have pulled data from the phone in question, or any other phone, unless a security flaw already existed.  As the company with full access to iOS source code and expertise in the phone's inner workings, Apple was in the best position to discover and exploit those already extant security holes through which data could be extracted.  There was nothing in the original ruling that would prevent Apple from plugging any holes discovered, nor would they be required to leave back doors in any current or future version of their OS.  The way Apple portrayed the request as a demand to introduce a new back door was ABSOLUTELY a PR stunt.  Or perhaps it's more accurate to call it damage control.  They stated it the way they did to avoid making the iPhone look insecure.  "We don't want to be forced to make the phone insecure" sounds much better than "we don't want to be forced to reveal how to get around the phone's security."
  • "There was nothing in the original ruling that would prevent Apple from plugging any holes discovered" Wrong. Essentially what the FBI wanted was for Apple to open holes they had already plugged. They were insisting Apple basically create a new version of iOS that didn't have the anti-brute force protections in place.
  • No no no.  The fact that the hole can be opened is what makes it a vulnerability.
  • Oh god,  MS fanboys are hilarious sometimes.  Did you even read what you typed here?  If microsofts fight is great and important,  so was apples since its the same goddamn thing.  wow,  blinded by the window.
  • Uncle Sam wants your data. If you don't comply, he would send his uncle Tom after you.
  • Yes I agree w Scabrat
  • Meanwhile Google offers up their data to the highest bidder.
  • Once again, an attack on Google based on zero-evidence and zero-facts but fuelled by a very deep will to hate on Google. Bravo.
  • Yeah, there are no facts at all on them being shady af when it comes to their privacy policy. You seem to never know about negative facts about your beloved employer. :D
  • Shady af? Yeah, THIS https://myactivity.google.com/myactivity is really typical from a company that's shady af. Where's the Microsoft equivalent of that? Don't bother. It's not. Now, please, shut up :) Oh and I apparently have to call Google. They're owing me a bunch of pay checks according to you ;)
  • That because Google take your personal data.. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Microsoft don't sell their data for a living so we already know what happens to our data. It is also kept safe in Europe instead of the US.
  • Once again, defending Google at any cost fuled by a very deep love for Google and hate for anyone who does not buy into their story completely. Bravo.
  • I'm awaiting an intelligent comment from you. Luckily, I'm comfortably seated.
  • Don't waste your time on close-minded fanboys.
  • It's very ironic that he mirrored your own comment and you said it wasn't intelligent.
  • Lol Google is probably the BEST company when it comes with your data because you can SEE all your data and how everything is used. Silly liar, a simple Google search can quickly throw away your foolhardy statement ;) #TeamLumia 950 XL
  • No you can't, and all data is stored in the US which makes it available to the US. They also make a living from selling personal information to other companies. They ALSO have three monopolies.
  • Nope, nope, and nope. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • You need to read a little and come back.
  • Good. How can they even think American law should apply in another country.
  • EU courts would have a field day with Microsoft id they did that.
  • Yep, you know how they frown upon evil, despicable acts such as including a web browser in an operating system.
  • *Some* American judges and politicians are convinced that American Law has any value outside the USA. It's really a cultural problem at this point. 
  • Yet plenty of folks who agree with this ruling believe US companies should have to pay taxes on the money they make in other countries.
  • Good. Because otherwise this would be a breach of international law. As much as that may pain some 'muricans, the USA has NO power outside its borders. If an American company has offices and servers outside the USA, those are subject to the laws of the country in which they are stored and not to American laws even if the headquarters of the Corporation are in the USA.
  • "'muricans" how orginal. Let me guess, you are European and demand that the US stop meddling in the affairs of others, but then you demand that you get to control how we govern our companies.
  • Yes, I'm European. Yes, I want the US government to mind its own business. And yes, I demand that American companies, while acting in European soil, respect European laws. Wow. How revolutionary I am...
  • DJCBS, here's a guy who is completely jaded, and a master of writing comments best left unread. However, just this one time, I agree with him
  • aggre, what would happen if the servers were in the USA and the country demanding the information were China or North Corea? and the felon were a exiled civil rights activist? 
  • Well for starters, in order to be a correct analogy it would have to be a North Korea-based company (do those even exist?) and you could bet your butt there aren't any courts in that country who are going to side against the government. Hand over the data or get fed to Kim Jong-un's dogs.
  • "Muricans"? how original you damn euros. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android (V10 or Nexus 5X)
  • Do you wish me to replace it with Yanks or Red Necks? I can do it if you like...
  • I vote Red Neck. That's what I am, anyway. ;D Then again, I'm not as thin skinned or as easily offended as a lot of folks. ;) And your point in your original post is perfectly valid. Yes, how revolutionary it is to respect a countries laws.
  • Good news
  • Great news for us here in good old Ireland!
  • It is great news for us in countries that are not US!
  • This thread is disgusting, you are all pathetic, have you actually listened you what your on about. Kids.
  • Take your own advice.
  • No doubt the govt will appeal to SCOTUS. The fact is, Microsoft is within the jurisdiction of the US and are based within the US. Unless it is a separate entity that holds the information it should not matter where the information is held.
    Using this legal theory set by the second circuit, all an entity would have to do to avoid the power of a subpoena is move said data outside of the country.
  • And there is the reason for all the distrust that Europeans have against TTIP and Patriot act. The assumption that US law extends far outside it's own territory while not recognizing the same principle towards foreign laws rubs some people the wrong way.
    Not that it really matters in this case as the real reason is that Microsoft apparently has successfully argued that allowing access to foreign territory based data would set a precedent for future reference and that would be bad for business for any cloud provider in the US, Google, Amazon and Apple included.
  • Now, in the interest of privacy, how do I move all of my data offshore, legally, so the US gov't can't seize it?