Ripples from across the pond: Extraterritorial Effects of the Microsoft Ireland Case

21 Sep, 2016   | by:

One of the big internet cases of this year, the Microsoft Ireland case, has come to an end about a month ago as the 2nd Circuit Court has handed down it’s ruling in favour of Microsoft. The case made quite a splash and has been covered  before at the RENFORCE blog. With the verdict in, the time is ripe to revisit it and look at it again, this time from a different angle.

The case started when Microsoft was served with a (domestic) search warrant by the U.S. government under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act to produce information relating to a drugs trafficking and money laundering case. The warrant included the production of e-mails  stored behind the domain, which is operated by Microsoft. Microsoft declined to comply with the warrant as far as the e-mails were concerned because, according to Microsoft, those e-mails were located on servers in Ireland and only there, and therefore not susceptible to a domestic search warrant. More…