Microsoft win is a victory for privacy rights

The US government attempted to use a search warrant to access the data, instead of relying upon the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLATs) agreed between the US and the EU and the US and Ireland. Microsoft challenged the initial decision by a US court to grant the warrant to search and seize the data. Today a Court ruled in favour of the company. However, the US may appeal the decision.

Open Rights Group’s Legal Director Myles Jackman said:

“The US Court’s decision has upheld the right to individual privacy in the face of the US State’s intrusion into personal liberty. As a consequence, US law enforcement agencies must respect European citizens’ digital privacy rights and the protection of their personal data.

“States should not arbitrarily reach across borders just because they feel they can bully companies into doing so.

“We urge the UK Government to take note as the Investigatory Powers Bill will also attempt to create powers compelling overseas companies to do the UK’s bidding. We need to establish a firm principle that companies abide by domestic law where they operate, rather than being answerable to every government across the globe that makes demands of them. The established route for requests for data by law enforcement agencies should be through treaties.”

Open Rights Group signed an amicus brief in support of Microsoft’s case in December 2014.

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