Yahoo can provide dead man's emails to family, court says

It comes after Microsoft refused to hand over emails during a U.S. drug trafficking investigation on the basis the police's warrant did not extend to Ireland, where the messages were stored.

For more than a year, American police have had trouble solving cases involving child rape, drug trafficking and fraud because of these restraints, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The Microsoft customer in question had told the company he was based in Ireland when he signed up for his account.

The Supreme Court's decision today to review Microsoft's victory in the Second Circuit is further proof that Congress needs to act to update laws governing electronic communication.

It then got its revenge in July 2016 - as federal appeals court judges in NY acknowledged allowing U.S. law enforcement to demand evidence stored overseas would open the door for foreign governments to demand data held in the US.

In the Microsoft dispute, the justice department asked the appeals court to rehear the case but in January the full court split 4-4 on whether to do so, leaving the original decision intact.

The case centers around email from a Microsoft customer stored in the company's Ireland data center.

A coalition of 33 U.S. states and Puerto Rico backed the justice department's appeal. Brad Smith, Microsoft president and chief legal officer, wrote in a blog post. It said if forced to do so, it would lead to claims from other countries about data stored here. The tech company refused, and in July 2016, an appeals court ruled in its favor, concluding that the Stored Communications Act did not apply to the communications stored overseas. That outcome, frankly, sounds kind of awesome.

A Supreme Court ruling could overturn the ruling or affirm it - either way, it would cement into place the reach of the Stored Communications Act. Do not expect a broad ruling about the either the limits of warrants under the Fourth Amendment nor a revised view of the limits of the Third-Party Doctrine that allows the government to access data about private citizens that is stored by tech companies and private firms.



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