Over the last few months we have been closely following Microsoft’s battle with the US Government over secrecy orders, otherwise known as the ability for the company to disclose to customers the fact if private emails have been accessed by government investigators. The U.S. government is now asking the court to throw out Microsoft’s case on unlawful search and seizures (Via Bloomberg).
In its decision, The U.S. government is noting that federal law permits authorities to obtain electronic communications (such as emails) without a warrant or without disclosure of a specific warrant if it would endanger an individual or an investigation. The government also highlights that Microsoft has, “no authority to sue over whether its users’ constitutional protections against unlawful search and seizure are being violated.” A statement from the lawsuit, as seen on Bloomberg, puts this situation best:
“Microsoft’s challenge effectively asks this court to adjudicate the lawfulness of thousands of such court orders from across the U.S., without regard to the basis for, and terms of, those orders, which necessarily vary from case to case.”
In a case that dates back to April, this is just the latest move by the United States government, perhaps indicating that this case my drag on for a long time ahead. Bill Gates, however, recently added his support to Microsoft’s secrecy lawsuit against the US government, and claimed that, “no one was an absolutist” on either side of the digital privacy debate.
Since this issue can be quite controversial for both Microsoft and the U.S. government, we would love to hear your thoughts on what this case means. Do you support Microsoft in this lawsuit? Or do you support the United States government? Please let us know what you think of this highly controversial situation by dropping us a comment below!