We love getting caught up in corporate squabbles when it comes to fighting over which product or OS should come out on top, but there are times when companies need to come together. Reuters reports that Microsoft put out a lawsuit against the United States Department of Justice back in April, and the case has received quite a bit of support from organizations all over the country. At its core, the suit is meant to strike down a law that stops companies from disclosing when the government is trying to dig into your information.
Apple, Google, Amazon, the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and so many others have openly displayed their support for the lawsuit, and it’s no surprise why. Microsoft alone has received thousands of requests to keep quiet to their customers, and it makes sense that this would feel antithetical to the goals of any corporation that wants to protect the rights of its users.
The deciding factor in the case comes down to whether or not the current law violates the fourth amendment, which you can see word-for-word below.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
This case is just the latest battle in a long series of conflicts had between the government and privacy advocacy groups trying to keep our digital frontier safe from those who might peek a little bit farther than they ought to into our personal lives. There are good arguments on both sides here – the new frontier comes with new risks, for sure – but it seems like Microsoft has firmly taken a side. We’ll have to see where the suit ends up, and how the result is going to affect our privacy in the future.