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US court orders Microsoft to release data stored offshore

A US district court has ordered Microsoft to hand over the emails and personal information of a customer currently undergoing investigation even though the data is stored offshore in Dublin, Ireland.

In the past, Microsoft had denied such requests for data of US based customers stored outside the country, however, judge James Francis of the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York, has ruled that warrants for online data are not similar to offline data requests and Microsoft will have to provide the data such as account holder's name, credit card details and email messages sought by US legal bodies.

Microsoft has reaffirmed that it will continue to challenge such data requests and said that, "This is the first step toward getting this issue in front of courts that have the authority to correct the government's longstanding views on the application of search warrants to content stored digitally outside the United States."

Corporate Vice President & Deputy General Counsel of Microsoft, David Howard, has mentioned in a blog post that, "the U.S. government doesn’t have the power to search a home in another country, nor should it have the power to search the content of email stored overseas."

According to the BBC, a new data retention law is currently being drafted by the EU to prevent companies from sharing customers' data with government agencies of other countries unless specified by EU law or special treaties.

Source: BBC 

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