Decision By Federal Judge Could Put Foreign ‘Prying Eyes’ On Your Email

By KYW tech editor Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Microsoft says a ruling from a federal judge could open the door to your email, if foreign governments come knocking.

The court says law enforcement agencies in this country can force Microsoft to hand over emails it stores on servers in Ireland.  That’s one of the many locations worldwide where it, and other tech companies, have data centres — the ‘clouds’ that keep our information.

“The prospect is that there’s going to be retaliation by other countries,” meaning they’ll try to turn the tables, says Scott Vernick, a partner at Fox Rothschild in Philadelphia:

“What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. I know that sounds trite, but we’re sort of hard-pressed now to say to some other government, ‘you can’t get stuff that’s stored in the U.S. because that would be a misuse of your law enforcement authority,’ when we’ve just done exactly the same thing.”

Indeed, Microsoft officials testified that Chinese authorities already have demanded access to data the company stores in the U.S.

The Windows maker is pledging to appeal.

 

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