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Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

Dcnjoe60 Re:customer-centric (406 comments)

Microsoft Ireland would be constrained by european law from exporting the data. Is that not the case?

No. If that were the case, they would have said so. Instead they said, that it is Microsoft USAs data and the request needs to go through them. If it were European law that came into play, the US would already have the data as it is needed for a criminal investigation.

Effectivally, one Microsoft entity is arguing it is US property and the other is arguing it is Irish property. Neither wants to give the data up because it will have negative connotations to their subscribers. So, they are playing games.

2 days ago
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Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

Dcnjoe60 Re:customer-centric (406 comments)

I am not confusing the two. Microsoft Ireland says they can't give the data because it belongs to Microsoft USA. Microsoft USA says they can't give the data because it belongs to Microsoft Ireland. They both can't be right.

2 days ago
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Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

Dcnjoe60 Re:customer-centric (406 comments)

Actually, this same scenario happened with the banking industry and what the judge is proposing actually follows the international law and treaties that came out of it. In short, it doesn't matter where the assets are stored as to who has jurisdiction, but as to who has control over them

So there is a treaty convering funds in accounts held by international banks. Tell us why a company should be obligated by a treaty that doesn't apply to the industry in which it operates?

Because in modern banking, actual paper money isn't shipped back and forth, it is wired electronically and the treaty includes the records of transactions. Effectively, like the emails the warrant is wanting to get at.

2 days ago
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Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

Dcnjoe60 Re:customer-centric (406 comments)

Some of us do understand it. Others define it as a copyable bunch of electrons because that allows them to steal movies and TV shows and games without listening to their conscience.

Others, like myself, understand digital is still property, but do it anyway because our own countries don't show these things on anything like an acceptable schedule. And we partly mollify our consciences by buying the DVDs later.

It has nothing to do with stealing. It does have to do with taxation. Intellectual property isn't taxable like personal tangible property and real property is.One can sell the right to use intellectual property, but one cannot sell the intellectual property itself.

2 days ago
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Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

Dcnjoe60 Re:customer-centric (406 comments)

Also, this is not tangible personal property. It is a bunch of electrons.

Are you serious? Are you that much of an idiot?

There is a reason there is *intellectual* property law.

Property laws exist immaterial of what form the property takes -- trademarks and patents are all nothing more than ideas in our heads put to paper, and they are protected for a reason.

I can see this reasoning on another site, but I'd think the readers of Slashdot would have an understanding of what digital property entails.

The reason there is intellectual property law is precisely because the things covered under it are not tangilbe personal property.

2 days ago
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Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

Dcnjoe60 Re:customer-centric (406 comments)

Microsoft doesn't need to own the physical server. They have control over the content stored on it. Your local bank doesn't own your funds. It does, however, have control over those funds.

2 days ago
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Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

Dcnjoe60 Re:customer-centric (406 comments)

If you think possession of child pornography is legal in Ireland then I've got a bridge for you to buy. I'll make you buy it twice for bringing in a "think of the children" flawed argument in a ridiculous attempt to bolster your position.

You miss the point. What people are arguing for in their support of Microsoft is that content related to US criminal activiity would be off limits if the US company stored the content on an overseas server. Whether that content is about a mob hit, ponzi scheme, terrorist attack, and yes, even child porn, it would be off limits.

The simple point to remember in this case is that an individual is suspected of criminal activity in the US and it is believed his emails have evidence of such activity. Microsoft is refusing to turn those over, even though there is a court order to do so, on the grounds that the US lacks jurisdiction because Microsoft happened to store said emails in Ireland.

2 days ago
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Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

Dcnjoe60 Re:More accuratly "self preservation" (406 comments)

No, it won't. Europeans will still have the same protections they do under their laws. However, US citizens committing a crime in the US won't be able to store their data on foreign servers of American companies and have it safe from authorities. In otherwords, if a US crime is committed, it doesn't matter where the US company hosts its server farm, it is still under the control of that company and subject to the authorities.

You are incorrect. the case would impact Europian Microsoft customers as well. Indeed, the account in question is almost certainly held by a non-American.

Only if those European Microsoft customers broke a US law and used Microsoft to house the data about such criminal activity on their servers. The US still needed a warrant in this case to obtain the data in question. It would take a US court to tell Microsoft to turn over data on a foreign citizen and there would have to be cause to do that. So, it is likely that the only European Microsoft customers that would be effected are those that happen to break US laws.

2 days ago
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Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

Dcnjoe60 Re:customer-centric (406 comments)

But if an American visits a foreign country, they and their property are subject to the laws of that county. We expect the same of foreign visitors entering our country. And if that foreign countries data protection laws differ from those of the USA, they should still be honored.

Having some foreign government insist on the right to root around in their citizens possesions while in this country, either as a tourist or a refugee would open up a human rights as well as an intellectual property can of worms. Imagine an H-1B worker's home country insisting on receiving copies of all of their work product while employed here.

But the criminal in question didn't visit Ireland and leave his data there. Microsoft didn't visit Ireland, either, but it did send the data there. Also, this is not tangible personal property. It is a bunch of electrons.

As for the H-1B worker, that is a strawman argument and has nothing to do with this. Here is a concrete example of what is going on here. I steal a painting in the US and send it via FedEx to Amerstam where it sits in FedEx's hangar waiting to be picked up. The feds arrest me and ask FedEx to send the painting back for evidence. Should FedEx say no, because it is now in their possession in a foreign country? Before you answer, the courts have already answered it and said yes, FedEx would need to return it as long as it is still in their possession.

Or, lets say two child pornographers both store the pictures they have taken in the US (so US law is broken) on Google's servers and one of the pornographers pictures happen to reside on a server under Google's control in Ireland and the other on a server under Google's control in the US. Is guy who had the luck of his data being routed to Ireland off scott free while the other guy goes to jail, when both of these accounts and servers are under Google's control? While the courts haven't answered this question, they have done so with banking and found that US banks must still turn over seized assets of US bank holders even if those assets are now held in foreign countries. Most other countries also have the same laws, too.

So, the question really is whether or not a criminal should be able to use a US company to hide it's data just because the US company has a server farm somewhere other than the US?

2 days ago
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Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

Dcnjoe60 Maybe... (406 comments)

Maybe the US should suspend all Microsoft contracts it has while Microsoft refuses to comply with the court order.

2 days ago
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Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

Dcnjoe60 Re:They are not defying an order (406 comments)

Notwithstanding some really rare cases (e.g. interlocutory), which this does not appear to be, an order is unenforceable while under appeal.

Doing what an order asks is grounds for dismissal of an appeal, notwithstanding cases where acts are made explicitly with the agreement of the parties and sometimes affirmation of the court to be without prejudice to the right of appeal. However in cases of disclosure of information, the disclosure is generally a form of prejudice (since it cannot be undone) that undermines appellate entitlement.

So it is wrong to say they are are defying an order. They are doing what everyone does on appeal.

If they were to defy an order they could be held in contempt of court. That would be an interesting story.

Actually, the judge lifted the freeze on the court order, so Microsoft is in fact defying it. Microsoft states they plan to appeal, but until they do appeal, they are still defying it.

2 days ago
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Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

Dcnjoe60 Re:This is huge ... (406 comments)

People and businesses and governments everywhere will be watching this one.

If America can force Microsoft to reach out to Ireland for data, then Germany (etc.) can force Microsoft to tunnel into America, right?

And, as mentioned, people, businesses and governments are already skeptical of the cloud, anyway.

People, businesses and governments may force "data nationalism" to become the norm.

They already can and have been doing so for years. If Microsoft wins, there will quickly be treatise signed with most countries allowing law enforcement to access data of their citizens suspected of criminal activity, just like happened with banking.

2 days ago
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Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

Dcnjoe60 Re:re I don't care (406 comments)

The answer is no, because jurisdiction is territorial. You can't apply Ireland's law to MS in the U.S. simply because they have a corporate office there, thus the reverse is true too: you can' t apply U.S. law to a subsidiary in Ireland.

And yet Microsoft has no problem trying to apply US patent and copyright laws against foreign companies. The reality here is that if I was the criminal in question and stored the data on my personal computer in Ireland, the US would ask the Irish to sieze the physical computer and turn it over and they would. However, Microsoft isn't the criminal, they are just the email provider who happens to be storing emails related to the criminal activity and happens to store it in Ireland. So, the authroities have issued a warrant to Microsoft for that data.

Now, if the US was trying to sieze Microsoft's servers in Ireland, that would be different. They are only asking for the emails of a person suspected of a US crime. When this started, it wasn't even known they were stored in Ireland. Microsoft brought that up because they thought that was the only way to keep from turning over a customer's emails.

I would suspect that if Microsoft prevails, it won't be for long as we will see new laws about data laundering just like happened with money laundering through foreign banks.

2 days ago
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Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

Dcnjoe60 Re:Customer-centric? (406 comments)

Self serving and customer-centric are one and the same in this case. I see nothing wrong with that, and I have nothing but respect for Microsoft doing this. They will likely be facing down some pretty serious daily fines while they wait for this to play out, at least judging from how cases like this have gone in the past. Good on them, whatever their motives.

Microsoft is fighting a warrant about turning over a customer's emails in a criminal case. Are you really arguing because the electrons are sitting on an SSD in Ireland, the criminal should go free, even though Microsoft has full control over those electrons? The individual didn't instruct Microsoft to store the data there, Microsoft did it of its own volition.

2 days ago
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Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

Dcnjoe60 Re:More accuratly "self preservation" (406 comments)

It is a rational self-interested decision that may be good for consumers.

Of course it's "self interest", and more accuratly "self preservation". Micrsoft is a business that ultimatly has to answer to their stockholders. If it comes to pass that US "law enforcement" can reach out and get personal data from non-US servers, it will completely destroy Microsoft's European business, due the the much stricter data privacy laws in Europe. It would be "game over" for Microsoft in Europe.

No, it won't. Europeans will still have the same protections they do under their laws. However, US citizens committing a crime in the US won't be able to store their data on foreign servers of American companies and have it safe from authorities. In otherwords, if a US crime is committed, it doesn't matter where the US company hosts its server farm, it is still under the control of that company and subject to the authorities.

If Microsoft wins this challenge, then there will be no server farms in the US because any that were overseas would be exempt from US authorities. Just think of something as mundane as tax avoidance. The IRS comes in and asks to see your companies data, but you don't have to give it to them because it is in a different country? Or let's say some government agency stores its data in Canada. Now it is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act?

The reality here is that if Microsoft wins, there will no longer be a tech industry in the US because what is left will move overseas to avoid US laws.

2 days ago
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Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

Dcnjoe60 Re:customer-centric (406 comments)

Microsoft's actions might seem "customer-centric," but really they're fighting for their lives.

If MS can be forced to give up European data, stored on European servers, that's game over for them.
Lawsuits and investigations will flourish in Europe, because their data protection laws are much stronger/stricter than ours.

This could kill MS's European business.

Which would kill Microsoft because that would provide enough of a critical mass to overcome the barriers to entry that Microsoft has erected in the Office market - wipe Microsoft out of Europe, and Europe would move to a truly open document format. And to communicate with Europe, the US markets would have to be able to read/write such formats - and actually do it WELL.

And once that happens, the money Microsoft makes on Office is gone....

Maybe we should be cheering this judge on?

This case is about a search warrant for a suspect's email that happens to be hosted on a server that Microsoft owns in Ireland. Even if Microsoft has to comply with the law, it won't have the impact you are implying.

2 days ago
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Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

Dcnjoe60 Re:customer-centric (406 comments)

It's all just a matter of legal principle. Can any internet company be publicly ordered to break laws in other countries, regardless of where it is based. So M$ is challenging the order to publicly establish a principle and protect it and all other internet companies in this regard. Technically speaking all other internet companies are now getting a free ride on M$'s dime, so it seems sometimes they do pay back to the industry. This is an important principle of law and something the US Federal government should be paying attention to and legislating to ensure the future of all US internet companies is not severely threatened.

Should a bank be publicly orederd to break laws in other countries, regardles of where it is based? That has already been answered in the affirmative. Banks are held to the laws of the country they are chartered in. Why should internet companies be different? Microsoft has no problem trying to hold foreign companies liable for US patent infringement, even if their local patent laws are different. Companies can't have it both ways. If you are a US company, you can't cry foul when US laws work against you but turn around a use US laws only when they are in your favor.

2 days ago
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Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

Dcnjoe60 Re:customer-centric (406 comments)

Its an American's data stored under a European account in European servers.

Perhaps. But if it was an American, residing on European soil, there would be extradition procedures to follow. And those would involve having the local (EU) police generate their own warrant and make their own arrest based upon a formal request. The aprehended suspect would then be turned over to the requesting country.

The same sort of thing should happen here. The USA should make a formal request to the Irish court to secure the evidence and turn it over to US authorities.

That is true, but it's not about an American, but an American's data that is in question. You can only extridte people. If an American only needs to store their data in a foreign country to keep from complying with a warrant, then every criminal organization will do that. What the court is saying is that jurisdiction follows whoever has control over the data, which in this case is Microsoft, but could just as easily be drug cartel or terrorist group.

2 days ago
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Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

Dcnjoe60 Re:customer-centric (406 comments)

You mean "Kill every company on the internet's business that serves customers in Europe and America."

Legal precedent would compel Google, and everyone else, to do the same stupid thing this judge has ordered, who is apparently unaware of international laws and seems to assume that US law is the only thing that exists or even should exist. If MS loses, everyone loses.

Actually, this same scenario happened with the banking industry and what the judge is proposing actually follows the international law and treaties that came out of it. In short, it doesn't matter where the assets are stored as to who has jurisdiction, but as to who has control over them. For instance if the IRA had deposits in Irish Allied Bank, but the cash was stored in the US, then the Irish Government could still freeze the account. So, if the data is stored somewhere else, but the company is headquartered in their land, why not the same thing?

2 days ago
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Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

Dcnjoe60 Re:The US slides back to the caves (523 comments)

Adding an additional data point - Jesus's woodcrafting tools measured in cubits so it's not that either. In fact his penis was said to be several millicubits long.

That would be Noah's woodcrafting tools. By the time Jesus came around, nobody was quite sure what a cubit was anymore.

about a week ago

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