Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Microsoft Cloud The Courts United States

Microsoft Email Privacy Case No Longer Needed, Says The US (cnn.com) 84

An anonymous reader quotes CNN: The U.S. Department of Justice is asking the Supreme Court to abandon its case against Microsoft over international data privacy. A new law signed by President Donald Trump last week answers the legal question at the heart of Microsoft's case, the DOJ says. So the case "is now moot," the department said in a court filing posted Saturday.

Microsoft's legal battle began in 2013, when it refused to hand over emails stored on a server in Ireland to US officials who were investigating drug trafficking. Microsoft argued at the time that sharing data stored abroad could violate international treaties and policies, and there was no law on the books to provide any clarity. That changed with the The Cloud Act, which was tucked into the spending bill that Trump signed March 23. The act establishes a legal pathway for the United States to form agreements with other nations that make it easier for law enforcement to collect data stored on foreign soil... Microsoft cheered the new law, saying the Cloud Act provides the legal clarity the company sought.

The ACLU's legislative counsel argues that the new act hurts privacy and human rights, "at a time when human rights activists, dissidents and journalists around the world face unprecedented attacks."

"Would even a well-intentioned technology company, particularly a small one, have the expertise and resources to competently assess the risk that a foreign order may pose to a particular human rights activist?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft Email Privacy Case No Longer Needed, Says The US

Comments Filter:
  • We will see (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Sunday April 01, 2018 @01:10AM (#56361789)

    This new law may prove to be unconstitutional - even with a conservative-leaning court in place.

    • Re:We will see (Score:5, Informative)

      by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Sunday April 01, 2018 @01:25AM (#56361817) Journal

      The Cloud Act was introduced as an attachment to the 2018 spending bill by Rep. Doug Collins [R-GA-9] on 2-6-2018. It was approved by the Judiciary Rules Committee on a party-line vote. As in, only the Republicans on the committee voted for it.

      Just thought you ought to know.

      • Re:We will see (Score:4, Interesting)

        by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Sunday April 01, 2018 @01:32AM (#56361831)

        True - but what Congress-critters think does not necessarily reflect what the court will think. Supreme Court justices have lifetime appointments for a reason.

        • True - but what Congress-critters think does not necessarily reflect what the court will think. Supreme Court justices have lifetime appointments for a reason.

          Oh, I absolutely agree. I just wanted to let the fine people of Slashdot know which flavor of congress-critter was shafting them this time.

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by hairyfeet ( 841228 )

            If you think this is a left/right issue? I have some magic beans you might be interested in, or did you forget all the nasty shit Obama pushed through, the wiretapping, attacking whistleblowers, that the left cheered?

            This is about those in power wanting more power PERIOD, the left has been taken over by SJWs that think you should be jailed for wrongthink, the right has been taken over by Neocons that think everyone is a potential terrorist...tomato tomatoe dude. Its why more and more of the actual classical

            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              the nasty shit Obama pushed through, the wiretapping, attacking whistleblowers, that the left cheered?

              That's rather unlikely, considering that Obama is a capitalist pig to the left. The left is not very good at distinguishing between him and the other capitalist pig.

            • Sadly, in this age of lobbyists infesting the cracks in the capitol, every issue is a political issue being bought and sold. And the whips in the two major party make sure their legislators all line up exactly as they are told.

          • Re:We will see (Score:4, Insightful)

            by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Sunday April 01, 2018 @04:24AM (#56362079)

            Oh, I absolutely agree. I just wanted to let the fine people of Slashdot know which flavor of congress-critter was shafting them this time.

            It's irrelevant. Congress are way above your silly political bickering. They will shaft you regardless of who is in power.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Jack9 ( 11421 )

      Why would this be unconstitutional? Why would anyone object to it at all?
      If a US company has data in another country's jurisdiction, there should be a legal mechanism for the US govt retrieving this data.
      The idea of everything being sent overseas to exceed the reach of the US government is even more dystopic.

      The reverse should be true as a matter of being allowed to operate in the US to maintain parity, but that's another can of worms.

      • You can pass two laws that disagree with each other. Then the courts get involved. Laws do not negate prior laws unless explicitly written that way. And most laws are written to be murky. That's just with normal legislated laws, there are also treaties have full force of law in the US as well, and the US constitution, which makes it all very complicated.

        So you're very often going to get two different opinions on a law, both of which have a solid legal framework supporting those opinions. When there's seri

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I think you completely misread the article. Up until now the government could subpoena information stored on foreign servers even if there was no clear legal precedent. Now the government has to actually have an agreement with the foreign nation before submitting such a subpoena. So, if you want to keep your information safe from the government, you now have the option of storing it on a server in a nation that either does not have such an agreement with the US or has specifically rejected such an agreement

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Sunday April 01, 2018 @01:18AM (#56361799) Journal

    The Cloud Act, which was tucked into the spending bill that Trump signed March 23.

    You were warned.

    • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      The Cloud Act, which was tucked into the spending bill that Trump signed March 23.

      You were warned.

      *shrug*

      > Implying we could do anything about a bill that was a rider on a huge spending package.

      top kek

      • by Anonymous Coward

        We can't do anything about past bills, but we can start talking more about how we dislike the concept of riders.

        If enough people start complaining, maybe some day we'll get an amendment that requires bills to be confined to a single topic, and maybe also require all new bills to be short enough that they can be read aloud in Congress in less than an hour.

        • We can't do anything about past bills, but we can start talking more about how we dislike the concept of riders.

          If enough people start complaining, maybe some day we'll get an amendment that requires bills to be confined to a single topic, and maybe also require all new bills to be short enough that they can be read aloud in Congress in less than an hour.

          Instead of 'read aloud in Congress in less than an hour,' how about 'must be read aloud in Congress before the vote to a quorum, with the doors locked' and let them decide how long they're willing to be stuck in there?

      • by hey! ( 33014 )

        There's always been riders tucked into bills, but the legislative process has broken down so badly that the only way anything gets done is if it is tacked onto a appropriation bill, which is the one kind of bill Congress absolutely has to pass or everything falls apart.

        The way Congress is supposed to control spending is that there are three steps: (1) a budget, which is a comprehensive spending and revenue plan; (2) authorization bills, which are detailed spending plans, and (3) appropriation bills, which a

  • by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Sunday April 01, 2018 @01:30AM (#56361827) Journal

    At one time, I was surprised by Microsoft's approach: defending their customer's privacy.

    Now they are selling them out. I don't think that this is a good business decision: it will dissuade non-US customers from using Microsoft's services.

  • by BLToday ( 1777712 ) on Sunday April 01, 2018 @04:42AM (#56362111)

    Definition of moot

    1 a : open to question : debatable
    b : subjected to discussion :

    But instead we get this version of moot:
    2 : deprived of practical significance : made abstract or purely academic

    Thanks a lot Rick Springfield, you screwed a word by making it opposite of itself. I’m happy you didn’t get Jessie’s girl.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "A moot point" has meant "something it makes no practical difference to discuss" since well before Rick Springfield picked up a guitar for the first time.

      Now get off my lawn.

      • A moot point is a point that is discussed in the "moot" - which was the 15th century word for a village hall. Ie all the "elders" would gather round and waffle on for hours, without making coherent points of changing their "died in the wool" points of view. Basically, discussion was unlikely to achieve anything, regardless if the importance of the issue. (Changes would require people higher up the food chain to intervene, or bloodshed).
    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Thanks a lot Rick Springfield, you screwed a word by making it opposite of itself. I'm happy you didn't get Jessie's girl.

      According to this [theguardian.com] story in the Guardian:

      It's a different story in the United States, where since the 19th century a moot point has been one that is at best academic and at worst irrelevant. The OED quotes the supreme court, no less, ruling that "a moot question" has "no bearing" on an issue.

      In my opinion it's better used that way, moot in the first meaning sounds like it means exactly the same as debated, disputed etc. while a moot point is an efficient way of saying "that is no longer relevant/important/possible, let's move on and discuss the options left on the table". Which is not to say you can't take lessons from it, but it's an efficient way to shut down pointless bickering.

    • But instead we get this version of moot: 2 : deprived of practical significance : made abstract or purely academic

      That version is perfectly accepted by both dictionaries and better still actual legal meaning. You know what a "moot" is in noun form? A mock process with no legal standing often used for practice. Just because you think the UK used Germanic root is the only valid one, doesn't make it so.

      Here, there's an entire wikipedia entry on why your pedantry is ... moot (America legal definition): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

      Now don't you British have a Brexit to get on with rather than showing your lack of under

  • by alex3772 ( 5334951 ) on Sunday April 01, 2018 @06:31AM (#56362301)
    The General Data Protection Regulation will be enforced in the EU very soon. It is a regulation that is specifically aimed at protecting the data of natural persons. Here is the text in english if you want to read it [europa.eu]
    There will be enormous conflicts between the GDPR and this law passed by the US congress.
    It might take a while to fight this out in courts but i think this will probably lead to a ban of personal data transfer from european companies to any USA owned entity in a few years.
    • by Jahta ( 1141213 )

      The General Data Protection Regulation will be enforced in the EU very soon. It is a regulation that is specifically aimed at protecting the data of natural persons. Here is the text in english if you want to read it [europa.eu] There will be enormous conflicts between the GDPR and this law passed by the US congress. It might take a while to fight this out in courts but i think this will probably lead to a ban of personal data transfer from european companies to any USA owned entity in a few years.

      This point cannot be overstated. And it's not just about email. Many European businesses have been moving to cloud-based hosting for at least some of their line-of-business applications. Under GDPR these businesses will now be open to direct enforcement action by both regulators and their own customers ("data subjects" in GDPR terms). Depending on the nature of the GDPR violation, the penalties can include a fine of up to 4% of annual turnover. So expect US-owned cloud providers to lose a lot of business if

    • I think you are misunderstanding what GDPR is. It does not protect you from lawfully obtained warrants for your data, This law requires the US to work through the government whose country the data exists in and hence GDPR does not come into play as GDPR does not do anything to prevent local law enforcement from obtaining a court issued warrant for it.
  • The land of the free readying a platform to export freedom suppressing laws. I thought America was about protecting freedom.

    I wonder if anyone will notice?

  • This is how MS do things that make me think they suck, pull as much PR goodwill value from it as possible and then drop their true intent and meaning, expansion of their cloud business internationally.

    Interesting times for MS, Windows is out, Cloud is in, Windows Senior Product Lead gone, C# programmer for .Net working on Typescript, WSL for Linux and Ubuntu.

    So what's next? Time to jump ship and transition plan it's EEE over Linux, the biggest one yet, For All is Cloud!

    Interesting times.

  • This law, as I understand it, allows the U.S. government to enter into agreements with foreign governments to allow the U.S. to request the foreign governments to compel U.S. companies to hand over data to U.S. law enforcement when they have a warrant. But what is to stop privacy minded companies from setting up their data centers in countries which do NOT enter into such agreements?
    • If it's anything like how extradition works? Then it will depend entirely on if the foreign government wishes to cooperate or not--it can sometimes be safer to go with a country which does have an agreement, but the agreement requires the request be in compliance with local laws as well & there's little chance of that happening.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"

Working...