Microsoft Sues U.S Government Over Secret Data Request - BestCyberNews: Online News Presenter in the present world

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Microsoft Sues U.S Government Over Secret Data Request

Microsoft has filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department, claiming that it's "unconstitutional" to force the company to remain silent and not inform customers when their cloud data has been searched or inspected by authorities.


The lawsuit filed on Thursday in federal court in Seattle, argues that the government is violating the U.S. Constitution by preventing Microsoft from notifying thousands of customers about government requests for their emails and other documents.

The government’s actions contravene the Fourth Amendment, which establishes the right for people and businesses to know if the government searches or seizes their property, the suit argues, and Microsoft's First Amendment right to free speech.

According to Microsoft, 5,624 requests from the past 18 months, and almost half came with a court order forcing the company to keep the demand secret.

Microsoft added that it felt the government "exploited the transition to cloud computing as a means of expanding its power to conduct secret investigations".

Brad Smith, Chief counsel at Microsoft, said "We believe these actions violate two of the fundamental rights that have been part of this country since its founding. These lengthy and even permanent secrecy orders violate the Fourth Amendment, which gives people and businesses the right to know if the government searches or seizes their property."

“They also violate the First Amendment, which guarantees our right to talk to customers about how government action is affecting their data.”

Microsoft has recently mounted a number of other legal challenges against the US government's attempts to access customers' data. One such case relates to a US search warrant to access the customer e-mails of a foreign individual in Ireland. That particular lawsuit is pending in the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.




Author Venkatesh Yalagandula Follow us Google + and Facebook and Twitter