EPIC Amicus: Supreme Court Divided Over Microsoft Stored Communications Case

This week, the Supreme Court heard arguments in United States v. Microsoft Corps., a case concerning law enforcement access to personal data stored in Ireland. The Court appeared divided during the argument, but both Justice Ginsburg and Justice Alito appeared to agree that Congress and not the Court was better positioned to find a solution. In an amicus brief, EPIC urged the Supreme Court to respect international privacy standards. EPIC wrote, the "Supreme Court should not authorize searches in foreign jurisdictions that violate international human rights norms." EPIC cited important cases from the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Justice. EPIC warned that "a ruling for the government would also invite other countries to disregard sovereign authority." EPIC has long supported international standards for privacy protection, and EPIC has urged U.S. ratification of the Council of Europe Privacy Convention. EPIC routinely participates as amicus curiae in privacy cases before the Supreme Court, most recently in Carpenter v. United States (privacy of cellphone data), Byrd v. United States (searches of rental cars), and Dahda v. United States (wiretapping).


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