Microsoft Gets Backing From Other Tech-Giants Against US Government Warrants For Overseas Data
The move by Microsoft to bar the United States government from issuing search warrants demanding it to hand over data not stored within the US has just gained more momentum as other tech-giants backs Microsoft’s quest. These tech-giants that joined the bandwagon include Verizon, AT&T, Electronic Frontier and more recently Cisco and Apple.
Apple and Cisco filed a joint amicus brief detailing their objection to the US government practice. Despite Microsoft having failed in its initial suit, it has however refilled the case. The US government issued a warrant seeking Microsoft to hand over some data it has stored in its Ireland servers. Microsoft protested against this move terming it as not reasonable for the US warrant to apply to its overseas and extra-national data.
The current backing Microsoft is receiving from other tech-giants is seen as noteworthy development. Especially considering that all these companies combined make up over a trillion dollars worth in the market capitalization and their quest for cessation of the warrants could have more weight in changing things in favour them, and against the US government warrants. If more tech-companies join the bandwagon, will definitely not be a surprise, since already these developments are setting the stage for a big storm against the US government.
It has emerged that the tech-companies are becoming concerned about their customers residing outside the US shying away from using their communication tools and storage solutions, since they can be easily accessed by the US government which is a foreign government to them. For instance, Europeans firms don’t want storage solutions that are at the beck and call of a foreign government and would be easily forced to render their private data no longer private and secure.
Tech-giants like Microsoft and others, who are selling their cloud-based products and communications tools to overseas customers, find themselves in an awkward position. In terms of complying with their home-country’s government security measures and satisfying their off-shores customers need for data privacy and security.
They need to assure their overseas customers that their data will be safe and kept private; the mere fact that the US government can access such data even when stored in Microsoft servers in Ireland with a non-local warrant, undermines tech-firms’ assurance to their customers that their data are secure and private. Simply put, it makes it harder for tech-firms to do business abroad, especially to clients who don’t want the US government to have such an easy access to their own private data.