Microsoft wins 2nd US District court appeal on Irish email case

Kip Kniskern

Microsoft has been fighting a long battle with the US government over a case where an Irish citizen held documents in a Microsoft controlled data center, but on Irish soil. The company lost its last round, but according to breaking news from Reuters, Microsoft has won its appeal.

The company has been championing its privacy efforts, using this case, which apparently involves an alleged Silk Road operator, and the causes of data sovereignty. Microsoft’s president and chief legal counsel Brad Smith took to the stage at the company’s Worldwide Partner Conference on Wednesday to further push Microsoft’s position in the case, and in their stance on privacy in general.

According to Reuters:

Microsoft Corp won the reversal on Thursday of a court order requiring it to turn over to the U.S. government the contents of a customer’s email account stored on an Irish server, in a victory for privacy advocates.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York reversed a 2014 ruling ordering the company to produce the documents, and overturned an order that held the technology giant in contempt for not complying with a search warrant.

We’ll have more on the story, and what next steps may be taken, as it unfolds.

Update: if you’re interested, here’s the court’s full ruling.