US Supreme Court dismisses Microsoft email privacy lawsuit

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For the past few years, Microsoft has been in a lengthy battle with the US Government over emails held on an overseas server in Ireland from someone who was believed to be part of the Silk Road. There have been many high points and low points in the entire saga, but today the case is officially over. Indeed, Reuters is reporting that the US Supreme court has dismissed Microsoft’s email privacy lawsuit.

The dismissal primarily comes because Congress passed the CLOUD Act a few weeks ago, which states that the US Government can only access data or use warrants on content stored foreign foresign servers if acting through mutual legal assitance between two countries involved in any disputes. This legislation was signed by US President Donald Trump on March 22 and made Microsoft’s case pointless, since the CLOUD act addressed most privacy concerns Microsoft originally raised.

Microsoft President Brad Smith also issued the following statement today about the dismissal.

“We welcome the Supreme Court’s ruling ending our case in light of the CLOUD Act being signed into to law. Our goal has always been a new law and international agreements with strong privacy protections that govern how law enforcement gathers digital evidence across borders. As the governments of the UK and Australia have recognized, the CLOUD Act encourages these types of agreements, and we urge the US government to move quickly to negotiate them.”

The final decision in the case can be read here in full detail.

Update: We’ve updated this article with a statement from Microsoft President Brad Smith.