Microsoft legal has a philosophy that local laws ought to apply to data — the only part that gets fuzzy under this approach is cloud data that is mirrored in multiple servers across multiple nations.
This discussion and case is highly important for the future of technology – if one country can by fiat demand that only country of origin laws apply to US companies doing business in foreign countries, what kind of reception and business can they expect? If your data is not secure when housed in US data farms, where will the data farms go? There will be lots of fallout from this case that could affect US employment. Right now businesses seek secure and stable locations that have class A networks for their data farms – if we fall behind in laws protecting data, and in network, we aren’t going to see many cloud farms built here.
The major market share players for PaaS and SaaS cloud services are Amazon, Google, and Microsoft – if the NSA continues to take an “All your base are belong to us” approach then that’s not going to continue.
Microsoft’s fight against the US position that it may search its overseas servers with a valid US warrant is getting nasty.
Microsoft, which is fighting a US warrant that it hand over e-mail to the US from its Ireland servers, wants the Obama administration to ponder a scenario where the “shoe is on the other foot.”
“Imagine this scenario. Officers of the local Stadtpolizei investigating a suspected leak to the press descend on Deutsche Bank headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany,” Microsoft said. “They serve a warrant to seize a bundle of private letters that a New York Times reporter is storing in a safe deposit box at a Deutsche Bank USA branch in Manhattan. The bank complies by ordering the New York branch manager to open the reporter’s box with a master key, rummage through it, and fax the private letters to the Stadtpolizei.”
In a Monday legal filing with the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals, Microsoft added that the US government would be outraged.
For in depth coverage of these positions
Brad Smith and Jonathan Zittrain on Privacy, Surveillance, and Rebuilding Trust in Tech | Noblesse Oblige