US Supreme Court rejects Guantanamo detainee's appeal

US Supreme Court rejects Guantanamo detainee's appeal

US Supreme Court rejects Guantanamo detainee's appeal

The New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals eventually ruled that the company didn't have to provide the data.

A NY district court and the DOJ contend that companies, not users, own data stored overseas - in this case, email held in an Irish data center.

Microsoft, federal authorities served Microsoft a warrant under the Stored Communications Act (also called a "disclosure warrant") for the emails of a foreign citizen that were stored on servers based in Ireland.

Last July Microsoft seemingly won a court scrap with U.S. law enforcement, meaning that data stored in foreign datacentres could not be seized under current legislation for criminal investigations.

The Justice Department said in its appeal that the lower court ruling "gravely threatens public safety and national security" because it limits the government's ability to "ward off terrorism and similar national security threats and to investigate and prosecute crimes".

A ruling in the DOJ's favor could dissuade customers from using cloud services.

It puts everyone's emails at risk - if the US government can unilaterally use a warrant to seize emails outside the United States, what's to stop other governments from acting unilaterally to seize emails stored inside the United States? The other case concerns whether police officers need a warrant to access historic location information on cell phone users that is held by wireless carriers.

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While oral argument has not yet been scheduled, the Supreme Court will hear the case sometime in the next year.

The case hinges on whether a US warrant can compel American companies to turn over data stored on servers outside the United States.

The Supreme Court is leaving in place a decision that the alleged mastermind of the 2000 attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 USA sailors should face a trial by a military commission.

The lower court ruling put stored electronic communications held overseas beyond the reach of US prosecutors even when there is probable cause that they contain evidence of a crime, Justice Department lawyers said in court papers.

The U.S. government had sought the emails in a drug trafficking investigation.

The Justice Department says the logic behind the appeals court decision would apply even if the account holder were a USA citizen living and committing crimes in this country.

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