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Ireland: US courts need our permission to view emails stored on Dublin server

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Microsoft was shot down in court twice this year when it challenged a US court order demanding access to a user's emails stored on a Dublin, Ireland server. But it hasn't given up yet, and now Ireland's government is finally speaking up about the issue. The country has just filed court papers echoing Microsoft's sentiments that the US court should ask Irish authorities for help if it wants to look at the user's emails. Redmond's main argument is that if a US search warrant can't be used in a foreign land, then a court order also shouldn't have any power over data stored overseas. According to that filing, Ireland will consider and process any request asking for access to the data in question "as expeditiously as possible," but US courts are obligated to respect Irish sovereignty.

Ireland's minister for data protection, Dara Murphy, says: "The right of individuals to the protection of their personal data is an essential foundation for modern society and the growing digital economy. We must ensure that individuals and organizations can have confidence in the rules and processes that have been put in place to safeguard privacy." While Microsoft has its own slip-ups when it comes to respecting users' privacy, a number of companies and organizations believe it's fighting the good fight in this particular case. Verizon, AT&T, Amazon, eBay, HP, the EFF and even its staunch rival, Apple, are all supporting Microsoft's efforts to challenge that court order issued in December of 2013.

[Image credit: Shutterstock]

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