Apple joins Microsoft in the fight against US government requesting overseas data

iPhone 5

Microsoft remains on its path to protect consumers against the prying US government and now both Apple and Cisco have joined the cause. The companies, along with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Verizon and AT&T are attempting to prevent the US government from issuing search warrants to demand data not physically stored in the country. Apple and Cisco have filed a joint brief in protest against this practice.

It's not the first time Apple and Microsoft have worked together on the issue. The major drawback with the US government issuing warrants for data stored on servers in other regions (for the tech companies involved) is how agencies are requesting access to extra-national data. Microsoft recently fought against US prosecutors ordering the company to disclose emails stored on servers located in Ireland.

With cloud services becoming more and more utilized by consumers, tech companies are attempting to showcase just how far they're prepared to go to protect user data. It's not good business for European companies and consumers to use storage solutions the US government and its agencies can request data from. This in turn would damage the US tech companies involved in this filing.

It's a fine line as on the other hand, should decisions go in favor of Microsoft and co., fighting organized crime and cyber threats may prove to be more challenging with restricted access on accumulating data from targeted threats. But that's a decision best held by legal personnel involved to reach a point where all parties (including consumers) are satisfied.

Do you feel as though your data is adequately protected and said companies are doing enough?

Source: TechCrunch

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Rich Edmonds

News Editor

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Reader comments

Apple joins Microsoft in the fight against US government requesting overseas data

1 Comment

Just to be clear in case someone didn't read the whole case or the original sources on this.

The case here is about Microsoft and other companies disagreeing that the government has the legal rights to issue US search warrants on data stored on non-US servers. Microsoft is saying legally it cannot be compelled to break the rules in other countries in order to comply with the search warrants. In fact, the US government should be requesting the data from the legal authorities in these countries, not the companies itself just because they happen to own the servers. If the legal authorities agree and issue local search warrant on behalf of the US, then it is okay for Microsoft to get the data. That's the right way, not what the US government is trying to say.

I absolutely agree with Microsoft, Apple and other companies here. The US is not the world police nor should it be trusted to respect everybody's privacy rights outside of US. The US or any other countries must not be allowed to gain access to any data to any servers just because the servers is said to be owned by the companies. All governments must respect the laws of each countries and follow its laws for search warrants.

US government should be ashamed of its actions here. Follow the damn laws in Ireland and request the local search warrants there, not demand MS to follow its US-only search warrant.