Microsoft sues US over data requests

Government has 'exploited the transition to cloud computing' to conduct secret investigations, lawsuit says

Microsoft sues US over data requests

World Bulletin / News Desk

Microsoft on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department for a law that authorizes federal agents to examine data without informing users.

The suit said that the Electronic Communications Privacy Act is unconstitutional, citing the Fourth Amendment right to know if the government has searched or seized property.

The case marks another disagreement between the U.S. government and a technology company, following the agency’s attempt to force Apple to provide a backdoor to gain access to an iPhone belonging to one of the alleged gunmen in a deadly San Bernardino, California, terror attack.

“As Microsoft’s customers increasingly store their most private and sensitive information in the cloud, the government increasingly seeks (and obtains) secrecy orders,” the suit read.

The lawsuit also said that the government has “exploited the transition to cloud computing as a means of expanding its power to conduct secret investigations.”

The tech giant said that it has received 5,624 federal orders for customer information in the past 18 months, nearly half of which, 2,576, came with secret orders that barred Microsoft from informing the customer.

“Further, 1,752 of these secrecy orders contained no time limit, meaning that Microsoft could forever be barred from telling the affected customer about the government’s intrusion,” it added.

The company also pointed out that the government is issuing more search warrants for electronic documents and data compared to physical documents and communications.

Last Mod: 15 Nisan 2016, 11:55
Add Comment