Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
H. Christopher Boehning & Daniel J. Toal

Microsoft’s four-year legal battle over the U.S. government’s ability to subpoena customer email stored outside of the United States ended abruptly thanks to the passage of new legislation directly governing the subject matter. On March 23, 2018, the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (CLOUD Act) was signed into law as part of the omnibus spending bill. Only three weeks earlier, Microsoft and the United States each appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court to present argument on the appropriate reach of the government in warrants issued under the Stored Communications Act (SCA). After the passage of the CLOUD Act, the court vacated the prior lower court decisions and directed the district court to dismiss the case as moot. While the CLOUD Act provides clarity as to the permissible reach of the U.S. government, it raises issues of potential conflicts with the laws of other countries, especially as data privacy laws are being strengthened in Europe and elsewhere.

‘Microsoft” Case

The Microsoft case arose when the U.S. government obtained a warrant under Section 2703 of the SCA for email content and information from a Microsoft Network (msn.com) email account. Microsoft had moved to quash the warrant to the extent that it sought information stored on servers outside the United States, specifically in Ireland. The legal question presented was whether a probable-cause-based warrant issued by a magistrate judge under the SCA reaches digitally-stored materials within a service provider’s control, but stored abroad. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, reversing the district court, held that the SCA did not require service providers to produce email content stored outside the U.S. The Supreme Court granted certiorari and heard argument on February 27, 2018.

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]


New York Law JournalBook

New York Law Journal, serving the bench and the bar since 1888

Get More Information

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.