Washington (AFP) – The US Supreme Court on Tuesday threw out a suit over Microsoft’s refusal to comply with a US warrant for emails stored outside the country, concluding the case had been rendered moot by a new law.
The court case arose in 2013 when the US government served a notice on Microsoft seeking access to an email account that it believed was being used for drug trafficking.
Microsoft challenged the warrant on the grounds that email data stored in another country, in this case Ireland, does not fall under US law.
In the meantime, however, the US Congress responded by passing the “Cloud Act,” signed into law March 23 by US President Donald Trump, which requires providers of email services to produce the email in response to warrants even if the data is stored outside the US.
“This case, therefore, has become moot,” the Supreme Court said, throwing out lower court rulings in the case.
The Cloud Act was backed by Microsoft and other tech giants as a compromise that would allow them to challenge warrants if they violate the laws of the country where the data is stored.