State backs Microsoft in US case

The Government has filed a formal briefing to a US court of appeal outlining its position with regard to the ongoing legal dispute between the US and Microsoft over access to an email account held on the company’s Dublin data centre.

State backs Microsoft in US case

Data Protection Minister Dara Murphy yesterday confirmed that the Government had filed an amicus curia briefing note outlining its position in the case, saying it is essential that individuals and organisations have confidence in the rules and processes put in place to safeguard their privacy.

“As Minister for Data Protection, I have given detailed consideration, from an Irish perspective, to the issues raised in this complex case… Having engaged in detailed consultation with my colleagues in government, it was agreed that Ireland should submit an amicus curiae brief to the US court that focuses on the principles involved in this case and that points to the existing process for mutual assistance in criminal matters.”

Microsoft yesterday welcomed the Government’s intervention

. Managing director Cathriona Hallahan said she believed the brief will send a strong signal to the US court.

A court in New York recently upheld a warrant issued last December ordering Microsoft to deliver the contents of a customer email account to US law enforcement authorities seeking evidence in a criminal investigation.

Microsoft’s case argues the US government cannot reach across international borders and retrieve a person’s email without respecting local privacy laws.

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