Supreme Court Fight On Foreign Servers of Microsoft is Over

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Photo by Robert Scoble from Flickr

The much-anticipated court battle between Microsoft and the Supreme Court case of the United States of America  — which could have determined the extent of American jurisdiction over foreign servers — has now been closed. On the 30th of March, the Department of Justice moved to withdraw the lawsuits as unsettled, and today, Microsoft filed to agree with the motion. While the Supreme Court has yet to officially drop the said case, it is an inevitable conclusion that they will.

Both Microsoft and the government agree that the newly passed CLOUD Act administers the lawsuit to be meaningless. In the US v. Microsoft case, federal law enforcement battled with Microsoft regarding the validity of a Stored Communications Act warrant for the data stored on a server that is located in Dublin. The CLOUD Act constitutes clear and new procedures for obtaining legal orders for data in such kinds of cross-border situations. In the motion to vacate last week, DOJ said that it had obtained a new warrant under the CLOUD Act.

Even though the new law comes with controversy, Microsoft welcomed the CLOUD Act while it was still a bill and again took the chance to praise it in its Supreme Court filing, dubbing it as a “nuanced legislative scheme that creates a modern legal framework for law-enforcement access to data across borders.”