Microsoft has challenged a ruling that would permit US government officials to investigate its overseas offices.
The organization said in a petition filed to the U.S. District Court for Southern New York that it objects an order that would permit law enforcement to pursuit all Microsoft-owned offices around the world.
At the core of the issue is a warrant giving U.S. government officials an access to a datacenter office in Dublin, Ireland. Referring to the US Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), a judge requested Redmond to open its doors to investigators looking for access to emails at the facility.
As per Microsoft's claim, the government’s request to investiage the Dublin office is a violation of Redmond's entitlement to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution.
The organization asserts that the government has exhibited its ECPA request as a "hybrid" authorization that conveys the authority of both a subpoena and a warrant, and that thus, the government is wrongfully attempting to avoid the strict necessities of a search warrant and operate within the more dubious demands of a subpoena request.
"The Warrant in this case violates the Fourth Amendment because it fails to identify the place to be searched with particularity," Microsoft said in its filing. "Instead, the Warrant purports to authorize law enforcement officers to search for any information associated with the target email account that is stored at premises owned, maintained, controlled, or operated by Microsoft anywhere in the world, and further seeks to conscript Microsoft to execute it on their behalf."
The New York Times noted that Verizon has filed an amicus curiae –"friend of the court" –backing Microsoft.
"Verizon highly values the privacy of its customers and the confidentiality of their information, and makes great efforts to protect its customers' interests," the company said in its filing. "While Verizon complies with lawful government demands for information, the extraordinary reach of the demand here raises serious questions about its legitimacy. In addition, because Verizon operates in multiple countries, it must be particularly sensitive to the risk of conflicts between the laws of the countries in which it operates."
The filings come in the wake of another motion by Microsoft to keep the US government from getting access to its client information. A month ago, Redmond effectively challenged an FBI request that would have permitted investigators to take a look at Office 365 subscriber data under a secretiveNational Security Letter