Microsoft and Apple are Fighting for Your Privacy Rights as the US Government Seeks Broader Snooping Powers

Apple and Microsoft are at odds with the US government over access to private customer data in two concurrent cases, as both giants refused to comply with DOJ orders. Microsoft and the US government are to face off again in an appeals court on Wednesday.

Both tech giants have been unwilling or unable to comply with Department of Justice’s orders in two separate investigations that have triggered more calls from officials for changes that would provide easier access to customer data. The present battle concerns servers in Ireland.

Microsoft argues that email messages are protected by Irish and European privacy laws and thus beyond the reach of the US government. However, the DOJ, which has already won in Federal District Court, sees no international conflict in the case since the American company still controls the email records. The DOJ apparently believes it has the right to view all private communications by citizens of all countries, wherever the data is stored, as long as the servers are controlled by American companies.

Details may be found http://www.rt.com/usa/314774-microsoft-apple-fight-privacy/.

Who has the right to view your personal email messages? Should the laws be any different from written letters sent through the traditional postal system?

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