Microsoft is suing the US Justice Department over secrecy orders

Microsoft is now one of the latest tech companies to take a bold step against the United States government. Documents filed just moments ago in U.S. District Court in Seattle have revealed that the company is suing the U.S. Justice Department.

In the lawsuit, Microsoft is asking a federal judge to declare unconstitutional a provision of U.S. law that lets the government stop Microsoft and other tech companies from informing their customers when investigators seek access to private information. At issue is section 2705 (b) of US law, and as reported by Geekwire, Microsoft says in the complaint:

“This statute violates both the Fourth Amendment, which affords people and businesses the right to know if the government searches or seizes their property, and the First Amendment, which enshrines Microsoft’s rights to talk to its customers and to discuss how the government conducts its investigations—subject only to restraints narrowly tailored to serve compelling government interests.”

After a battle with Apple over a terrorist’s iPhone, this action is just the latest proverbial bullet in the arm for the U.S. government.  Microsoft, nonetheless, does business with the U.S. government and recently announced that the DoD will upgrade 4 million of its seats to Windows 10.

We’ll be keeping our eye on this story as it develops. Data security and privacy is clearly of interest to anyone who uses today’s ubiquitous cloud services, and Microsoft’s action could go a long way to helping determine just what government must do in accessing our information.

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