On Monday, Microsoft claimed it will not back down to US prosecutors and has gained an impressive amount of support for its court appeal. Companies such as Verizon, Apple, HP, Cisco, AT&T, Rackspace, and the I2 Coalition, among others have all filed letters of support for the internet giant.
Remond’s counsel Brad Smith stated on Monday, “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.”
Smith continued, “In contrast, the US 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.”
The court battle stems from a warrant issued to Microsoft in December 2013, requiring the company to hand over email contacts and emails of one of its customers as part of a federal drug investigation. The information is currently stored on Microsoft servers in its Dublin datacenter and Microsoft has refused to allow the US any access, citing it would be a breach of EU law.
However, New York District Judge James Francis ruled in disagreement last April saying that the emails are not personal correspondence, which is protected by law, but instead information related to business and said that Microsoft would have to hand over the information.
In July, Microsoft countered with an appeal that was struck down by the court. In response, Microsoft asked the judge to hold the company in contempt as they have no intention of handing over the information.
Microsoft continues its stand and has vowed to take the case all the way to the Supreme Court. In a statement today, company officials stated that American companies could lose tens of billions of dollars in revenue by customers flocking to foreign service providers over cloud privacy subject to the whims of US Court Officials.
The company also warned that US law enforcement could lose investigative powers and US cloud providers could be sued under the US ruling.