×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers

Unknown Lamer posted about 5 months ago | from the prepare-for-extradition-to-north-korea dept.

The Courts 502

jfruh (300774) writes Investigators in a criminal case want to see some emails stored on Microsoft's servers in Ireland. Microsoft has resisted, on the grounds that U.S. law enforcement doesn't have jurisdiction there, but a New York judge ruled against them, responding to prosecutors' worries that web service providers could just move information around the world to avoid investigation. The case will be appealed.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Finally! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47581053)

Multinationals have operated above the law for far too long. The US is sending a clear message that if you do business in a country you are subject to its laws -- globally.

Re:Finally! (4, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 5 months ago | (#47581077)

Unfortunately, no. Jurisdiction for the crime isn't the same as jurisdiction for evidence.

Re:Finally! (4, Informative)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 5 months ago | (#47581165)

So would you be in favor of China being able to subpoena any / all of Microsofts records, regardless of where they are stored?

Re:Finally! (5, Insightful)

retchdog (1319261) | about 5 months ago | (#47581229)

yeah, i would. it would be a nice reminder about why not to do business with totalitarian states.

and, yes, i also think that this case is a nice reminder for other countries not to do business with the US for exactly the same reason.

Re:Finally! (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 5 months ago | (#47581431)

You wouldn't have to do business in the country for them to attempt to subpoena you, mind. They can fabricate a reason for doing so.

Re:Finally! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47581405)

So would you be in favor of China being able to subpoena any / all of Microsofts records, regardless of where they are stored?

I'm not, but if Microsoft operates in that country, it suggests they ok with that.

Nobody's making Microsoft operate in US or China and thereby become subject to their laws. For whatever reason, they decided the rewards were worth the risks. If you think they have chosen unwisely, bring it up at the next shareholder meeting.

Re:Finally! (2)

thieh (3654731) | about 5 months ago | (#47581269)

Don't forget that NSA probably has almost everything. They are just trying to make it legal to use them in court by putting up legitimate means of extracting the info.

It's almost sane(really) (4, Interesting)

i kan reed (749298) | about 5 months ago | (#47581063)

Going to take a position I know will be unpopular in this thread, but:

The leverage they have is that you're accused of committing a crime within the borders of the US, and evidence you have access to can be demanded under a warrant that covers details related to that crime. Their physical inability to seize it by force(because it's in another jurisdiction) is about as relevant as their inability to unlock your bank safe. Either way they can punish you for not turning over evidence that is covered by the warrant.

Re:It's almost sane(really) (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47581105)

It's all well and good so long as the USA don't mind, say, a Russian court issuing a warrant for data held on servers in the USA.

Re:It's almost sane(really) (5, Insightful)

disposable60 (735022) | about 5 months ago | (#47581161)

Or China, Iran, Pakistan, Myanmar or North Korea - you know, countries in which dissent of (heavens!) heresy/apostasy are capital offenses.

Re:It's almost sane(really) (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 months ago | (#47581201)

It's all well and good so long as the USA don't mind, say, a Russian court issuing a warrant for data held on servers in the USA.

There's nothing wrong with that, so long as they don't propose to use force to retrieve the data.

Re:It's almost sane(really) (5, Funny)

0a100b (456593) | about 5 months ago | (#47581427)

Using some force may be acceptable, like waterboarding Satya Nadella to get the data...

Re:It's almost sane(really) (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47581207)

If the data is relevant to a case where Russians are using USA servers to hide information related to crimes committed in Russia I don't really see a problem.

Re:It's almost sane(really) (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 5 months ago | (#47581213)

If a Chinese company has data on a server in the US and routinely accesses that data, can the US government suddenly say the company can no longer have access to the data because a Chinese judge issued a warrant for it?

That seems different than the Chinese government demanding data from a US company like twitter when the data is stored on a server in the US

Re:It's almost sane(really) (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47581251)

A Russian court issuing a warrant for data held by a Russian company on servers located in the US but controlled by the Russian company would be consistent with this ruling.

Re:It's almost sane(really) (3, Informative)

silfen (3720385) | about 5 months ago | (#47581257)

Why would "the USA mind"? Any country is free to issue warrants for whatever it wants. But, in practice, it can only enforce them within its jurisdiction or via treaty.

The US can enforce its warrant against Microsoft because Microsoft operates within its jurisdiction. Microsoft has to decide whether it values more operating in the US or whether it values the privacy of its foreign operations more. I think it's pretty clear how that's going to shake out.

Re: It's almost sane(really) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47581421)

Don't give an EMPLOYEE IN RUSSIA access to the material.

Basically they are suing he ADMINS at desks in the USA for data that THEY CAN ACCESS in other countries.. But FROM their desk in the USA. This really isn't that much of a stretch.

Re:It's almost sane(really) (5, Interesting)

hawguy (1600213) | about 5 months ago | (#47581149)

Going to take a position I know will be unpopular in this thread, but:

The leverage they have is that you're accused of committing a crime within the borders of the US, and evidence you have access to can be demanded under a warrant that covers details related to that crime. Their physical inability to seize it by force(because it's in another jurisdiction) is about as relevant as their inability to unlock your bank safe. Either way they can punish you for not turning over evidence that is covered by the warrant.

Is there any circumstance where you think USA prosecutors should not be allowed to force foreign entities to hand over evidence without going through that country's legal system?

Like if I'm arrested for smoking pot in the USA and USA prosecutors want to search my bedroom back home in Amsterdam to collect proof of my drug habit, you think its ok for USA police to force my parents to let them search my bedroom back home (or enter their home by force)? Even if my "crime" is only a crime in the USA?

Re:It's almost sane(really) (4, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 5 months ago | (#47581193)

Like if I'm arrested for smoking pot in the USA and USA prosecutors want to search my bedroom back home in Amsterdam to collect proof of my drug habit, you think its ok for USA police to force my parents to let them search my bedroom back home (or enter their home by force)? Even if my "crime" is only a crime in the USA?

I'm having trouble determining whether this is a really good analogy, or a really bad one... Leaning towards the former.

Re:It's almost sane(really) (5, Insightful)

TRRosen (720617) | about 5 months ago | (#47581297)

That is a completely irrelevant example. Were not talking about subpoenaing a foreign company or entity. We are talking about forcing companies operating in the US to turn over information that is in their possession (under there control).

The basic concept here is that data does not exist in the physical world. Where the electrons are is irrelevant if the entity that controls it exists in the US.
         

Re:It's almost sane(really) (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 5 months ago | (#47581559)

That is a completely irrelevant example. Were not talking about subpoenaing a foreign company or entity. We are talking about forcing companies operating in the US to turn over information that is in their possession (under there control).

The basic concept here is that data does not exist in the physical world. Where the electrons are is irrelevant if the entity that controls it exists in the US.

       

What if the data was in my locked briefcase in Microsoft's London office.... Do you think they should just hand it over to USA prosecutors without going through the UK's legal process?

Re:It's almost sane(really) (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 5 months ago | (#47581301)

OK, thought of a good counter analogy:

- You've hidden bombs on public transit all over the country, and the list of where you hid them is stored on a server in the UK; should the government be able to get a warrant for that information?

And a not so appropriate, yet still thought provoking one:

- You're a serial killer in the US, but every time you murder someone you drive to your Canadian cabin in the woods to hide the body; should the US be able to get search warrants for said cabin?

Re:It's almost sane(really) (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47581437)

The US should be able to get search warrants...

wait for it...

In Canadian courts. MIND BLOWN.

Re:It's almost sane(really) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47581511)

They could also issue a subpoena against you, under threat of enhanced prosecution if you refuse.

Re:It's almost sane(really) (5, Insightful)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 5 months ago | (#47581461)

To both cases: this is why organizations like Interpol exist. So a police force from one country can work in tandem with another to solve a case that crosses national borders. If the US want data stored in an Ireland server, they should work with the police there to get it, instead of saying that their jurisdiction extends worldwide unilaterally.

Re:It's almost sane(really) (4, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about 5 months ago | (#47581569)

OK, thought of a good counter analogy:

- You've hidden bombs on public transit all over the country, and the list of where you hid them is stored on a server in the UK; should the government be able to get a warrant for that information?

Of course they should... Through a UK court, not a USA court.

Re:It's almost sane(really) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47581373)

"Like if I'm arrested for smoking pot in the USA"

Do we even know if the owner of this email account has committed a crime here in the US? A lot of countries are going crazy in regards to prosecuting (or in some cases harassing) individuals who commit "crimes" OUTSIDE their country (including the US). There was one recent case I believe where someone was denied entry into the US because they had smoked pot abroad. To modify your example what if you traveled to the US for a visit and were arrested, while searching your belongings they found photos of you smoking pot in Amsterdam and despite no proof that you had done so here in the US proceeded to add that to the charges (assuming there were any others).

Re:It's almost sane(really) (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about 5 months ago | (#47581535)

Is there any circumstance where you think USA prosecutors should not be allowed to force foreign entities to hand over evidence without going through that country's legal system?

Microsoft isn't a foreign entity.

Re:It's almost sane(really) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47581221)

The court is free to force YOU to turn over whatever evidence YOU have access to then. So you could turn over your password or you could download all your e-mails and turn them over to the court. I don't see how that means the court can then go to a 3rd party operating in a foreign country and force them to turn over information about you.

Re:It's almost sane(really) (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 5 months ago | (#47581293)

Here's how it works:

1. You're a government.
2. You have leverage over the entity in question.
3. Your own legal system allows it.

Without 2, you've got nothing, but the case in question is pretty clearly targetting providers who might move information. Not those that don't operate in the US at all.

so if I say take a position that the CCP (2)

0xdeaddead (797696) | about 5 months ago | (#47581459)

is full of crap, which is of course illegal in china. so the CCP can get MS to give them all my incriminating 'speech' because it's saved in the US?

Yeah this is going to be a 'good thing'.

Re:so if I say take a position that the CCP (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 5 months ago | (#47581525)

That evidence can't actually be used without charging you.

You're going to have to accept that the world is at least a little run by de facto power.

Applies oversea or applies to local access? (4, Interesting)

Carewolf (581105) | about 5 months ago | (#47581069)

If the local branch of Microsoft has access to and control over the servers, they only need to demand the local branch to do so, that doesn't mean they are extended juristiction. If the data could only be accessed from outside the US it would be more interesting.

Re:Applies oversea or applies to local access? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47581199)

If the local branch of Microsoft has access to and control over the servers, they only need to demand the local branch to do so, that doesn't mean they are extended juristiction.

That could make it more difficult for multinationals to operate though. One of the reasons why companies put data centers in Ireland is to comply with EU rules about the locations of personal information. If the US can pierce EU rules regarding personal information simply because someone in the US has access to the servers, then that could lead to EU rules prohibiting such access.

During an earlier discussion I thought someone said that the information involved was owned by a US person or organization that was trying to hide by putting it in the EU. That would matter more to me than whether Microsoft had domestic access to the servers.

I'm not sure that a US court should be deciding this though. It might make more sense to have to appeal to an EU court to pierce this particular veil. That would support EU rights in protecting their data while offering a method for US litigants to gain rightful access to data. Of course, it would also be rather clumsy. But I would rather put clumsiness on litigants than on multinational businesses.

Re:Applies oversea or applies to local access? (1)

umghhh (965931) | about 5 months ago | (#47581467)

I think, US authorities by coming to MS to get data from servers in Ireland, demand data not from individuals who own them (alleged criminals), but from organisation that owns the servers on which it is stored. The very reason why the bloody serves are in Ireland is to avoid such warrantless (in context of EU law) search yet that is exactly what US authorities demand. It may even be that because the legal system in US is so broken as to execute random people in extremely cruel and lengthy manner or put people in prison for life w/o parole for smoking a joint 3 times and this in prisons that are known for their violence and inhumane treatment of some prisoners, for all these reason it may be that courts in EU would be reluctant to let any data go. I am not saying that this would be the case of course - NSA may have enough on judges and politicians to make it happen anyway but it would be a cumbersome process that would let the world think that US authorities respect legal systems of other countries. This of course is not going to happen as US authorities do not have all too much respect for own legal system, for justice and some such abstract concepts so why they should show respect for legal systems or perception of justice in other countries? We know that US lawmakers and authorities think they have jurisdiction over all of the word (FATCA is one good example) and where that is not the case a silent drone can do the job too.

Quite frankly I am really surprised that MS is fighting it. It seems to me that either they are afraid of the financial consequences of bending over or EU for all its incompetence, overreaching and bureaucracy has some uses after all. Or as far reaching speculation that may be, MS is not all evil. I guess I stick with first two arguments as they are good enough.

Re:Applies oversea or applies to local access? (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 5 months ago | (#47581507)

The problem is that this isn't the US piercing the EU rules, its the US judicial system saying the EU rules do not apply to it, which is entirely correct.

This is the US judicial system putting US companies between a rock and a hard place - the company has to comply with EU laws or face penalties, while also complying with a US court order or face penalties.

This is, however, actually how it should be - EU rules do not apply to the US judicial system, they only apply to those entities operating within the EU, and the US judicial system should not care about other countries or jurisdictions laws it is not bound by.

That doesn't mean its not a difficult situation, but it does mean its an interesting case to watch.

Re:Applies oversea or applies to local access? (5, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | about 5 months ago | (#47581263)

That appears to be the argument, yes. The court isn't claiming authority to send police officers to Ireland and physically seize the data, or authority to force Irish police to conduct a search. Instead they're demanding that Microsoft (a U.S.-based company) produce the requested evidence, if indeed its U.S. staff have access to it (which they probably do).

I think it's problematic from a practical perspective, but I could see how someone could reach that conclusion. Usually jurisdiction of U.S. persons does extend to their overseas assets, e.g. in an investigation of fraud a U.S. court can demand that you turn over your Swiss bank account records, even though these accounts are (of course) in Switzerland.

The main problem IMO is that it puts companies operating in multiple jurisdictions in a bit of a bind. For example, Microsoft Ireland may have responsibility under EU law to not release data except in certain cases, while Microsoft U.S. is required to release it, meaning the company will violate the law somewhere no matter what they do. I'm not sure whether it's possible to avoid that by really firewalling the access, e.g. make Microsoft Ireland an operationally separate subsidiary whose servers cannot be directly accessed by Microsoft USA staff. But that would certainly complicate operations in other ways.

Re:Applies oversea or applies to local access? (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 5 months ago | (#47581539)

The problem is that is a direct analogy this is a third party. This is forcing a neutral third party to potentially commit a crime because a us court ordered them to.

Good (0)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 5 months ago | (#47581075)

That's good news, since it's one step closer towards closing the gap between the haves and have-nots.

Being rich enough to shuttle assets to other countries shouldn't mean you get away with breaking the law, because that's an inequal application of justice, and therefore unconstitutional.

Re:Good (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 5 months ago | (#47581087)

On the other hand, it's only becoming precedent in an era where the common person actually has the ability to move things(specifically data) overseas with ease.

Re:Good (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 5 months ago | (#47581163)

On the other hand, it's only becoming precedent in an era where the common person actually has the ability to move things(specifically data) overseas with ease.

The "common person" who can afford that crap.

When your application of justice become predicated on the income level of the accused, it's not justice anymore.

Re:Good (1)

canadiannomad (1745008) | about 5 months ago | (#47581209)

The "common person" who can afford that crap.

Sorry buddy, but moving data around internationally can cost as little at $0.

Re:Good (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 5 months ago | (#47581371)

How? Details, please.

You know, just in case I commit some heinous crime and need somewhere to stash the evidence.

Re:Good (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 5 months ago | (#47581215)

There are a host of free services you can use overseas to do this, so any common person with an internet connection can afford it. And since libraries offer free internet connections, that means anyone.

Re:Good (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 5 months ago | (#47581189)

No, its a bad precedent, and you can now look forward to China / Russia / India issuing subpoenas for things like email inboxes and documents stored on the cloud for US citizens.

Ive never really gotten how slashdot has so many people with apparent astigmatism, only able to see the close up things and always missing the bigger picture.

Re:Good (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 5 months ago | (#47581393)

No, its a bad precedent, and you can now look forward to China / Russia / India issuing subpoenas for things like email inboxes and documents stored on the cloud for US citizens.

Now, now. This isn't PRISM we're talking about, it's a specific, 4th Amendment sound warrant for information regarding a US company's actions in the US, the evidence for which they've hidden on a foreign server. There's no need for hyperbole

Ive never really gotten how slashdot has so many people with apparent astigmatism, only able to see the close up things and always missing the bigger picture.

The irony of this statement is not lost on me.

Moving information for Freedom.... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47581083)

"...responding to prosecutors' worries that web service providers could just move information around the world to avoid *dictatorships suppressing said information*".

Fixed it for ya.

If country X bans something, I happily move somewhere else where it's allowed assuming it was important to me.

Now what if this worked the other way. Some muslim country gets to search people's US computers even if they know they can't store their Porn on their Muslim country computer. Now they can say that storing that data in the USA isn't enough reason to avoid getting thrown in jail.

Re:Moving information for Freedom.... (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 5 months ago | (#47581143)

Now what if this worked the other way. Some muslim country gets to search people's US computers even if they know they can't store their Porn on their Muslim country computer. Now they can say that storing that data in the USA isn't enough reason to avoid getting thrown in jail.

If said accused person is a citizen of the aforementioned Muslim country, and even moreso if they are operating a business there, then yes, all their shit very well should be accessible to their government with a legal warrant, no matter where they try to hide it.

Otherwise, you start having the issue of, "if you're rich enough, you can skirt the law."

Re:Moving information for Freedom.... (2)

thaylin (555395) | about 5 months ago | (#47581235)

No, our government should be required to go through the other government to get that information. Our government does not have jurisdiction in other countries PERIOD.

Re:Moving information for Freedom.... (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 5 months ago | (#47581363)

Our government has jurisdiction over its citizens, and businesses that operate within its borders.

Basically, what you're saying is that you think that if someone on US soil does something illegal, and hides the evidence offshore, the government shouldn't be able to get to said evidence without jumping through a crapton of legal hoops?

Re:Moving information for Freedom.... (3, Insightful)

thaylin (555395) | about 5 months ago | (#47581409)

Most defiantly yes. The government does not have free reign to just enter into our lives when it wants to and how it wants to, it has to follow local and global laws. Getting a warrant in the US is crazy easy, and there is little oversight. Requiring them to actually follow the law is not a bad thing. The law is there to protect the citizens, and allowing them to break it adds to the probably that innocents will be harmed.

Re:Moving information for Freedom.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47581275)

Yeah. This.

I don't get these comments that think just because its possible the law being avoided is a bad law that it makes hiding all evidence on remote servers ok.

What if it was a serial killer that stores videos of all the murders on a remote server.

If the USA based person in question cannot in any way access the information on the remote server then I don't think the USA should be able to search it (say a hard disk was mailed to another country or the server was taken offline after the transfer of information). But if you are using a remote server as a "safe" to hide information in but you have on demand access to that information in the USA then it should subject to search.

Re:Moving information for Freedom.... (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 5 months ago | (#47581305)

There is no evidence that they are using it as a "safe" to hide information. There is just evidence that it is on the other servers. The problem is this means that our servers are open to other countries who dont want to have to follow our laws, and we all lose security and privacy.

Re:Moving information for Freedom.... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47581469)

What you keep missing is that what if I live in multiple different countries and travel between them frequently?

When I'm in the USA I can legally watch porn.
When I'm in Amsterdam I can legally smoke pot.
When In a Muslim country both are things that would get me killed.

So just because I live in all these countries at various times in the year doesn't mean the Muslim country gets to search my US computer for porn and suddenly sentence me to death. Then the US country searches my Amsterdam computer and finds images of me smoking pot there....

The point was that the document (evidence) would be in the country where I'm doing the stuff..... (where it's legal). I'm not intentionally moving anything around. I just do whats legal in the place I currently am.

According to this ruling, now my perfectly legal activities abroad, are subject to US law. Essentially no escaping their grasp now.

Re:Moving information for Freedom.... (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 5 months ago | (#47581513)

No it should not. Getting a warrant in the country the data is stored is not a high bar. Yes this means in most civilized countries you can not get a warrant to look for something that is legal there. This is a good thing.

In this particular case it looks like the DOJ is fishing as getting a court order in Ireland for a legit criminal case should be easy.

Where is the user located? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47581107)

There doesn't appear to be any reference to where the email accounts user is located. If it was a US user trying to hide their data on overseas servers there might be some reasoning behind it, but if US courts are trying to get a hold of non-US users data on non US servers there is a serious issue here.

Cuts both ways (3, Interesting)

jmv (93421) | about 5 months ago | (#47581147)

It's going to be interesting when the Chinese government issues Google a warrant to get data from the US.

Re:Cuts both ways (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 5 months ago | (#47581205)

Is Google a Chinese company?

Re:Cuts both ways (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 5 months ago | (#47581277)

Itis a multinational with headquarters in China, so yes, so the same degree that it is a US company.

Re:Cuts both ways (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 5 months ago | (#47581351)

Then I would say, if China has evidence that the Chinese Google office has done illegal things in their country, and hidden the evidence on US servers, then yea, they should be able to get a warrant for that information, and vice versa.

Re:Cuts both ways (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 5 months ago | (#47581369)

You are using this "hidden the evidence" phrase as though this is the issue happening here. It is not. There is data of some possible issue on the other servers. There is no evidence that they hide it there as a direction action. And in any case, NO, China should be required to go to the US courts and ask permission to get that information, otherwise, as I stated previously, our privacy and freedom takes a direct hit. There is a reason for sovereignty of nations.

Re:Cuts both ways (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 5 months ago | (#47581447)

To be honest, I'm kind of up in the air on this one; on the one hand, I hate the fact that rich people and corporations use national borders to commit crimes (like hiding assets from taxation); On the other hand, I know that if the precedent is set, our government will abuse the holy living shit out of the privilege.

I suppose the wise decision would be to err on the side of caution and limit the government's ability to access information. Better 10 guilty men go free than one innocent suffer, right?

Re:Cuts both ways (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 5 months ago | (#47581223)

I didn't know Google was a Chinese company.

Re:Cuts both ways (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47581267)

I also did not know Microsoft Ireland was a U.S. company.

Re:Cuts both ways (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 5 months ago | (#47581543)

Microsoft Ireland wasn't ordered to turn over the data. Microsoft in the US was ordered to turn over data that's available to them from the US.

Re:Cuts both ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47581581)

Then Microsoft in the U.S. was given an order it cannot fulfil.

Bye bye US cloud (5, Insightful)

johanw (1001493) | about 5 months ago | (#47581151)

Microsoft always sold their cloudservices in the EU with the argument that the data is physically located outside the US so the Patriot Act doesn't apply. Now that this has been proven false, EU-based cloudfirms will use this argument to choose a non-US based firm even more in their commercials than they do already. Good for the non-US based firms.

Re:Bye bye US cloud (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 5 months ago | (#47581289)

Yeah they've been really playing that up angle when competing against Google Apps for Business in particular.

Re:Bye bye US cloud (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 5 months ago | (#47581495)

Problem is that this case could repeat itself for any company operating in the US, even if the entire hosting is in the EU. EU-based cloud hosts would have to NEVER do business in the US in order to be off-limits, basically (and even then I'm sure they could find a reason).

Like extradition, but for evidence (2)

MobyDisk (75490) | about 5 months ago | (#47581171)

Is there something equivalent to "extradition" laws, but that apply to overseas evidence instead of oversees defendants?

Re:Like extradition, but for evidence (4, Insightful)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 5 months ago | (#47581443)

Yea it's called asking a judge in Ireland.

Air through the fences (1)

malvcr (2932649) | about 5 months ago | (#47581185)

This is like if you to go to a country border to talk with a friend you have at the other side. Each one will stay in their corresponding country without breaking any immigration law, but you can talk through the fences (the air is not restricted to one particular country .. yet). Then, your country authorities could demand the person, at the other side of the fences, to said them what you were talking about when you left the place. But this person has all the right to say nothing, because he/she is living in "another" country, with different rules and laws.

Also, this is co-related with what the Europe rules demand about information their citizen have in other countries. So, this means that each country is not an independent one and that anybody can break the physical borders in their quest about what they think, with their current laws and though, that justice could be?

It seems that a basic international ruling on the Internet it is needed to clarify limits before any judge in any country be able to invent whatever thing that, obviously, will break the other country laws.

Re:Air through the fences (0)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 5 months ago | (#47581329)

This is like if you to go to a country border to talk with a friend you have at the other side. Each one will stay in their corresponding country without breaking any immigration law, but you can talk through the fences (the air is not restricted to one particular country .. yet). Then, your country authorities could demand the person, at the other side of the fences, to said them what you were talking about when you left the place. But this person has all the right to say nothing, because he/she is living in "another" country, with different rules and laws.

No, it's like if you take a bunch of information to a country border and hand it off to someone on the other side.

Now, say that information you passed to the foreign national was stolen nuclear launch codes, or a list of where you hid the bodies. Do you really think the government should not be able to get a warrant for that information, just because it's not on US soil anymore?

Re:Air through the fences (2)

thaylin (555395) | about 5 months ago | (#47581479)

Again with this strawman. This is not what is happening here, this is the slippery slope argument the government is presenting, but still no. What is on foreign soil the US has NO right to without going through the other government. PERIOD.

what other foreign laws do you think the US has the right to trample on just because it feels like it?

Re:Air through the fences (2)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 5 months ago | (#47581565)

No, it's like if you take a bunch of information to a country border and hand it off to someone on the other side.

Now, say that information you passed to the foreign national was stolen nuclear launch codes, or a list of where you hid the bodies. Do you really think the government should not be able to get a warrant for that information, just because it's not on US soil anymore?

Of course, the government should be able to get a warrant for that information. The difference is that the government should go to the foreign government's court system to get said warrant. Issuing a warrant in the US for data stored on a server in Ireland makes as much sense as police from the US demanding to cross the border and search the house of a Canadian because he was suspected of a crime in the US.

Murica (4, Insightful)

korbulon (2792438) | about 5 months ago | (#47581225)

I never fail to find the bravado and hubris underlying American exceptionalism... exceptional.

Land of the free... as long as you're not in one of our many many prisons ( http://nomadcapitalist.com/201... [nomadcapitalist.com] ), which has a higher per capita incarceration rate than Cuba, which is second on the list. Oh, and speaking of Cuba, there's always http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G... [wikipedia.org] .

Home of the brave... because you'd be pretty brave too if your military budget was larger than the nearest eight other countries combined ( http://pgpf.org/Chart-Archive/... [pgpf.org] )

Where all men are created equal... except, of course, when they're not ( http://www.pbs.org/newshour/ru... [pbs.org] ) and a man can make something from himself even if he starts out life with nothing (but probably not): http://money.cnn.com/2013/12/0... [cnn.com] )

And where the rule of law is universal and sacrosanct... except in those cases where it's not convenient ( https://www.globalpolicy.org/u... [globalpolicy.org] ) and ( https://www.eff.org/nsa-spying... [eff.org] )

Oh well, enjoy your "freedoms".

Re:Murica (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47581317)

Oh well, enjoy your "freedoms".

I will enjoy my freedoms afforded to me by living in the greatest country in the world. I'm glad I don't live in the shit hole you live in.

Re:Murica (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 5 months ago | (#47581423)

Greatest country in what regards? there are other countries with more freedom, better education, better economies...I am a US citizen myself, but am having a hard time figuring out what we are the best at, besides war and being a blind patriot.

Re:Murica (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47581453)

there are other countries with more freedom

What country would those be? Because It's certainty none in Europe or Asia. I guess Somalia has more freedom than the US but I wouldn't call it a great country.

Re:Murica (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 5 months ago | (#47581503)

New Zealand, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Iceland, just to name a few

Re:Murica (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47581573)

All of those countries lack freedom of speech due to their anti hate speech laws.

Re:Murica (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47581323)

Wtf are you talking about. If you commit a crime you should be subject to search via a warrant. If you have routine access to information pertaining to the case in the USA then the USA should have jurisdiction over the information.

Everyone seems outraged but I can't seem to understand why? Are you afraid that as a US citizen you can't hide evidence overseas? I don't know why a foreigner would be afraid either.

Re:Murica (2)

thaylin (555395) | about 5 months ago | (#47581433)

So Iran should be able to get evidence that one of its citizens is a Christian, off US servers? I mean it is not like they are persecuted over there or something.

Re:Murica (0)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 5 months ago | (#47581505)

If a US company has a subsidiary in Iran, they have bigger legal problems to deal with.

Re:Murica (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 5 months ago | (#47581557)

What does that have to do with anything?

Re:Murica (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47581473)

"If you commit a crime"

"Crime" is a pretty variable term anymore here in the US anymore, I think there have been books written regarding the fact that due to the complexity, broad language & even broader interpretation of our laws virtually every adult in the country is chargeable with multiple felonies a day. People have literally been arrested for standing on a sidewalk, in my own state there was a case not too long ago of an individual being arrested and charged for violating a "law" that turned out to not exist. Once upon a time people were only charged when their actions harmed or were intended to harm others, today you can be charged for doing something that harms no one, is done solely on your property and effects no one but you.

Obama administration says the world’s server (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47581227)

As said on http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/07/obama-administration-says-the-worlds-servers-are-ours/
> Companies like Apple, AT&T, Cisco, and Verizon agree. Verizon said (PDF) that a decision favoring the US would produce "dramatic conflict with foreign data protection laws." Apple and Cisco said (PDF) that the tech sector is put "at risk" of being sanctioned by foreign governments and that the US should seek cooperation with foreign nations via treaties, a position the US said is not practical.

Now, the tech sector is "at risk" of being sanctioned by foreign governments...

In other news... (2)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 5 months ago | (#47581237)

In other news, judges in North Korea, Iran, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, the UK and China all declare their rulings (regarding international jurisdiction of their respective nations' laws) to have jurisdiction internationally...

Re:In other news... (3, Interesting)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 5 months ago | (#47581591)

Sadly, North Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and a bunch of other countries have wanted this for awhile. They want the "law of the Internet" to be that if you do X and you doing X is visible in their country where X is illegal, you've broken the law and can be prosecuted. They drool at the thought of being able to force their laws on the Internet at large. Sadly, this US judge is only helping their plan with his short-sighted ruling.

Better yet, store it "nowhere" (1)

larwe (858929) | about 5 months ago | (#47581249)

Better still, web-based companies with datacenters in many jurisdictions could store your data in a completely distributed fashion, where it isn't possible to retrieve the original without access to all (or at least several) of the servers. So they could subpoena all the data held in the US, and the UK, and Australia, and all the other surveillance states, but without a copy of the complementary data in Switzerland and Belize and on a pirate barge in the middle of the Pacific, they won't be able to reconstruct what you actually have stored up there. Better yet, if they contract with third-party storage providers wholly resident in those other countries, the US (for example) would have zero basis to subpoena those other companies - they are not "doing business" in the United States.

Re:Better yet, store it "nowhere" (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 5 months ago | (#47581553)

Or just say the hard drive crashed and all the data was lost.

Hard to see how it will work (1)

badzilla (50355) | about 5 months ago | (#47581313)

A modern corporate giant is not one big company across the planet just because their offices all have the same logo outside. Local offices are separate legal entities in each country.

Suppose MegaMultinational, Inc. has its headquarters in New York and it is legally (in NY) ordered to do something by the court. If it commands its German subsidiary MegaMultinational GmbH to "just hand stuff over" this will likely be in contravention of local German law. Why would the local CEO risk jail by complying?

Re:Hard to see how it will work (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47581341)

A modern corporate giant is not one big company across the planet just because their offices all have the same logo outside. Local offices are separate legal entities in each country.

Remember that the next time you rant against the amount of taxes corporations pay.

Don't do business with the USA (4, Insightful)

green1 (322787) | about 5 months ago | (#47581331)

This is one more reason to make extra sure that companies that you deal with have zero US presence. In fact in many jurisdictions it would be illegal to follow these US laws due local privacy laws. By doing business in the US, any data on individuals that you have, even stored in other jurisdictions is subject to their laws, meaning you'll often have the choice of breaking US law, or breaking the laws of the country you're in.

Much safer to just avoid all dealings with the USA.

Yet Microsoft spies for the gov (3, Funny)

jader3rd (2222716) | about 5 months ago | (#47581339)

As a reader of Slashdot, I know that Microsoft only exists for the sole purpose of spying on behalf of the US government. So I know that this story is pure fiction. I mean whoever made it up didn't even put much effort into good names; Brad Smith? Come on, that's so generic.

Damned if you do... (1)

Inf0phreak (627499) | about 5 months ago | (#47581399)

MS's employees in Ireland might be criminally liable in the EU if they transmit the data outside EU borders. They might really really like Microsoft, but to the point of being willing to go to prison for the company? I think not.

We could potentially end up in a situation where the main branch of MS screams at the EU branch from across the Atlantic and no one over here is willing to comply.

What if Ireland seized the data? (1)

schwit1 (797399) | about 5 months ago | (#47581451)

And told the US courts that it must make its request through them.

Covered under current law. (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 5 months ago | (#47581499)

but a New York judge ruled against them, responding to prosecutors' worries that web service providers could just move information around the world to avoid investigation.

IANAL but when information is subpoenaed the company is breaking the law if they move, destroy or hide any requested information. If the party receiving the subpoena is found to have hidden evidence then the judge can rule against them as if the evidence was available and damaging. (it's more complicated than what I'm saying but I think this is the basic process) So I'm not really sure what the prosecutors are worried about that isn't already adequately covered under current law. It would be no different than someone using Fedex to send a paper document to another country. We have that situation covered under current law.

And what happens if ... (1)

overshoot (39700) | about 5 months ago | (#47581509)

a European court issues an injunction under the European privacy laws against MS handing over the bits?

Jurisdiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47581567)

If the judge can find a person (or company?) in the US that has control of X outside of US jurisdiction,
    then maybe the judge can compel the person to bring that X before the court. (Where control means can get it without leaving US jurisdiction.)

If there is no such person, then I don't see how a US judge can compel somebody somewhere else to do anything.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?