Microsoft Fights Back Against Court Warrant: Apple Gives Backup

Following on from Microsoft’s previous spat with the courts, it seems that their problems won’t just go away. Apple is now offering backup in a fight to prevent a US warrant taking Irish emails.

The software goliath was asked to hand over emails on a server in Ireland by a US magistrate judge last December. It has since put up a fight and appealed, criticising the warrant as an attempt to “break down the doors” of its Dublin facility – rather than the USA take up other routes.

Apple has now teamed up with Cisco to support Microsoft’s appeal and file a ‘friend of the court’ brief backing their federal court challenge.

All the tech firms agree (for once), that the US should seek to use mutual legal treaties to recover information between countries, not force for information that is outside of their borders.

The brief is quoted:

 “The magistrate’s analysis places providers and their employees at significant risk of foreign sanctions, and threatens a potential loss of customer confidence in US providers generally.

It also encourages foreign law enforcement to take reciprocal actions by using equivalent foreign laws to require production of data stored in the United States, despite disclosure prohibitions in US law.”

The judge first rejected the appeal, on the basis that the search itself would be conducted from the USA. This isn’t entirely fair, considering the information lies beyond US borders, beyond the reach of a US warrant.

If the search does go ahead, campaigners have cited that it would be subject to the Fourth Amendment – protection against unreasonable search and seizure should apply.

We’ll see how it pans out. Looks like somebody might get their fingers burnt.