Dancing to an ever-changing beat at Microsoft Ireland
"However, with technology also comes challenges. Microsoft Ireland has been at the forefront of these challenges when it comes to data privacy.
The firm has found itself having to defend a ruling in the US compelling it to hand over emails from an MSN.com account held on its servers in relation to a drug-trafficking investigation; the server in question is located in the Irish data centre. Months of work resulted in the Government filing a supporting brief for Microsoft in December.
Hallahan says the case is important to Microsoft, and she is proud of the stance the company has taken on the matter. Customers need to have clarity on the matter, she adds.
“This case is for us key evidence to our customers to show that we take this very seriously and that we’re going to defend the fact that we believe data held in a jurisdiction like Ireland should follow the laws and protocols that exist for Ireland,” she says.
“We want to collaborate with other countries where there are criminal issues but we want to do it in a way that is following due process. We want to protect people’s data the same way we would protect physical data. Where law enforcement would need to get information from a customer, a physical file, they would need a warrant to do that; we want digital data to be respected in the same way.” "
1. Microsoft is a US Based Company.
2. They Own the server where the Data is stored
3. Microsoft must comply with a Warrant From a Federal Judge
4. The source article is obviously biased against the US.
5. This data in question is in regards to some Drug Cartels email
6. The source even brings up Ed Snowden, who if ever found in The US will be tried for treason.
Now lets step back to September 7, 2001 say. What if the information in the email could have prevented the 9.11.2011 disaster? Thousands of lives were lost and many were from The UK and other countries. What I find amusing is that people are willing to give up all of their Net usage to MS by using Windows 10 and or Google but they damn The US for trying to obtain Data with a legal warrant.
Ehhhh, I don't think Microsoft has an argument here. They're a US company, a person of US nationality is in question, Microsoft's servers even in Ireland is still property of Microsoft and therefore subject to US laws.
But I can see the other side for Microsoft, they're a global company. A server in Ireland stores all sorts of data everywhere just as a server here in the US could possibly store data based in Ireland. Because they're a global company, the nodes of which they operate throughout the globe are subject to local laws.
The only way I can see Microsoft gaining the upper hand is if the EU intervenes. If that happens, oh boy.
This will be an interesting case to see what happens. The line that caught my attention was that the DOJ basically states that they'd rather go through Microsoft for the data than the government of Ireland because it's would be "slow and cumbersome." Part of me thinks that the US government is being the US government imposing their will through whatever means they see fit, i.e. cutting corners and saying it's justified even though quite questionable in the eyes of the law.
Actually, I don't know. Microsoft could possibly win it because thinking about it, the US government has worked with foreign governments like Switzerland so it would be more difficult for the wealthier citizens of the US to hide their money offshores because the thinking is, if the money isn't physically in this country it's subject to the country in which it resides offshore. That means the US government can't actually touch it and you don't see the IRS sending out search warrants to those particular citizens demanding they bring their money back to the US for proper taxation. If the IRS wanted that to happen, there would be a coordinated lengthy effort with the foreign government to get financial statements on that citizen and usually that doesn't always happen because privacy laws....
So in this case, the DOJ doesn't have merit in saying that the data on a server in Ireland is US property because that's essentially what they're implying. This case involves an international drug cartel investigation, not a simple US cartel. They would need to follow proper procedure even though it maybe tedious to do so because that data is not in the US, that server is not in the US and therefore is not under US law.
It's similar I find to when people from the US travel overseas to countries and break their laws. Just because they're a US citizen DOES NOT mean they aren't subjected to local laws. If a US citizen breaks the law in Iran, the locality's law applies to that person regardless of what nationality they are because if it did, that's how chaos ensues.
MS could and should win. Thats not defending MS its just if they don't then that possibly opens up a whole can of worms in many other areas of trade, tech and industry.
If the data were held in an embassy for example, what then. The embassy is sovereign territory of the nation and comes with legal and binding international agreements. Just because it is in a foreign country does not necessarily mean its subject to the laws in that country, in the case of an embassy and other things like warships, military bases and such.
The USA and other countries expect that someone who committed a crime in the USA and fled the country, would be extradited back to the USA to face charges, however the USA is very reluctant to reciprocate on this arrangement.
If you guys read the article, you'd see there is growing support for Microsoft from other companies....
so I'm not so sure it's going to be a cut and dry win for the Justice Department. But, we'll see...Since the case began, unlikely allies of Microsoft have come to its defense: Apple, Verizon, and NPR, as well as Fox News, privacy groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and even the Irish government -- which doesn't want its sovereignty violated.
Im not surprised at growing support for MS, all these other companies are thinking "There but for the grace of god go i". They all know the impact this will have on them if they have companies overseas or store stuff overseas.
I don't hold your "this is a cut and dry done deal" attitude. For me, we'll see what we see when it's said and done. The justice department simply can't go around bullying companies in the guise of "justice". It's not that simple, and I expect even more corporations and countries come to MS' aid.
In the grand scheme of things I'm quite sure no one wants to knowingly harbor illegal activities, but there needs to be checks and balances to insure even the police force isn't trampling on people's rights in the guise of justice. Yeah I know they cite the drug case, but there may be others that aren't so cut and dry.
How many politicians will want to forgo "re-election funding" from the US IT sector (Apple, Google, MS, etc.)?
If MS loses, I would expect to see a lot of lobbying for legislation changes and increased "re-election funding" for politicians who oppose the current situation.