BSA | The Software Alliance hailed today’s Second Circuit decision in the case of Microsoft Corporation v. United States of America, in which the court found that the Stored Communications Act does not allow US law enforcement to require US-based companies to turn over the contents of customer email stored outside the United States.
“The Second Circuit sent an important message to technology users today: privacy protections and the rule of law apply online just as they do in the physical world,” BSA President and CEO Victoria Espinel said. “The headlines will say that Microsoft won the case; this is also a clear vindication of privacy in the digital age.”
Espinel added: “BSA members believe in working with law enforcement to stop bad actors, but it has to be done in line with the rule of law. That’s why governments need to create a framework for lawful access to data. Congress has started this process by working on legislation to modernize our laws on government access to data.”
BSA filed an amicus brief at the Second Circuit in support of Microsoft, stressing that users of data services entrust their sensitive information to third-party providers and that confidence in cloud technology depends on protecting their expectation of privacy. BSA also pointed to the need to take foreign sovereign interests into account before seizing information located abroad.
BSA was joined in its brief by the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, and ACT | The App Association.
“The breadth of support for Microsoft’s position in this case was impressive – it is evident in the brief that BSA filed in the Second Circuit,” Espinel said. “We were joined not just by other technology groups but by the civil society, manufacturers and the Chamber of Commerce. This case has repercussions for consumer trust across the economy and around the world, and this decision is a win for technology users at the individual and industrial level.”