Tech giants join Microsoft's call for US to end requests for overseas data

Microsoft has once again called for the US government to stop using domestic search warrants to demand data stored overseas. It has also picked up the support of organizations like the EFF, telephone companies like AT&T and Verizon, and most recently received the support of Apple and Cisco.

Microsoft initially opposed a US government request for data stored on an Ireland server, arguing that a US-specific national warrant shouldn't reach over into other countries. However it lost and has since re-filed the case. Aside from the obvious reasons why this is worth opposing, the larger problem on the hands of these companies is that non-US countries may be put off from using their products and services if it means that the US would be able to access their content.

To put the above into an example: it would mean that European business clients that use Microsoft's email service for their internal communications wouldn't be able to enjoy the level of privacy they expect, as a foreign search warrant could lead to an employee's entire mail history being turned over to a foreign government. Extend this to cloud and communication services and the major complications start to show themselves. 

Elements of this would also cause concern about the clashing of laws, in that European privacy and data retention laws may be at odds with domestic US law, causing significant legal complications for these multinational companies.

Tech groups are hoping that the law could be changed, otherwise their services could become significantly less attractive to the international market.

Source: TechCrunch | Image via TechCrunch

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