ORG signs amicus brief in Microsoft case

In the case, US law enforcement agencies are seeking to access data in an email account held on a server in Ireland. The US government has attempted to use a search warrant to access the data, rather than using the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLATs) agreed between the US and the EU and the US and Ireland. A US court has granted the warrant to search and seize the data, but Microsoft is fighting it.

In the US, an amicus curiae is a “friend of the court” who is not a party to a lawsuit, but has an interest in the matter. In total 10 amicus briefs were filed in support of Microsoft’s position, representing 28 leading technology and media companies, 35 leading computer scientists, and 23 trade associations and advocacy organizations.

ORG believes the US government must respect European citizens’ rights to privacy and the protection of personal data. There is an established route for requests for data by law enforcement agencies, which is the use of MLATs. By signing an amicus brief in support of Microsoft’s position ORG is emphasizing that requests for personal data must be made in compliance with national laws and international treaties.

The amicus brief can be found here. It was prepared by lawyers at McGarr solicitors in Dublin, with White & Case acting pro bono in the US.