Microsoft Continues to Fight Departement Of Justice In Court To Defend Users Right
Microsoft still fights its court battle against the Department of Justice to defend the company’s users right. This Monday, U.S. federal judge in Seattle continued the hearing on the matter.
Microsoft filed the lawsuit in April as reported by Computer World, with the backing from large tech companies such as Google, Amazon, Cisco System, Twitter and Apple. Microsoft argued in the complaint that its customers have the right to know when the government obtains a warrant to read their emails, and Microsoft has the right to tell its customers about it.
The company said that for more than 18 months the federal court under Obama administration issued close to 2,600 secrecy order also known as “gag orders.” The orders prevented Microsoft to tell its customers about warrants and other legal process which involved its customers data. Most of the orders have no fixed end date.
Microsoft argued that the gag orders debilitated confidence of the customes regarding privacy of the cloud service. Thus affecting the company’s right to be transparent with its customers. Microsoft stated that transparancy is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
However according to Blooomberg report, the government argues that Microsoft does not have sufficient ability or standing to protect customer privacy. This standing is the barrier to such case, because the protection guaranteed in the Fourth Amendment can be cited only by the individuals not the third parties, in this case Microsoft.
U.S. District Judge in Seattle James Robart cited the four court decisions which all ruled the same conclusion regarding the Fourth Amendment protections right. The latest decision was in 2014, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that family of driver who was shot by the police and killed following a high-speed chase could not invoke the right on his behalf.
The court battle between Microsoft and DOJ still continues. Watch the report from PBS News Hour, regarding Microsoft lawsuit against Department of Justice to defend its customers’ data below: