Yesterday we wrote about Microsoft's ongoing battle with the US Government over a denied request to release user data that is stored in Ireland. The case has been rumbling on since 2014 and much has been written about it, but very little is known about the man the US Government wanted data on.
A new report by The Times of London reveals the man to be Gary Davis, someone who worked as an administrator for infamous “dark web” site Silk Road. The notorious website was a part of the deep web, where users can browse anonymously and partake in activities that range from illegal to unbelievable.
While Silk Road was tame compared to some marketplaces, it became the number one market on the dark web for buying guns, drugs, and other illegal products. The US Government (which also uses the dark web for communication) went to war with Silk Road, sentencing creator Ross Ulbricht to life in prison without parole.
— Gary Davis (@GaryDavisIRL) April 19, 2016
In its investigations, the US Justice Department asked Microsoft to give access to emails held by Gary Davis. Microsoft originally complied before denying the request when the company discovered that the data was stored off US soil in Ireland.
Just yesterday we discussed a recent US Supreme Court decision which seems to give Microsoft the upper hand in the case. The new ruling says that the US Government has no jurisdiction over companies in other countries. Microsoft and the Irish government have said the US can go through proper channels and get the data it requires.
As for Davis, the United States is attempting to extradite him from Ireland, with a court delaying his case until July 8 in Dublin. Redmond says its decision is not about protecting Davis, but maintaining privacy laws, and IBTimes says Microsoft's actions have been widely supported by the tech community:
“Fellow U.S. tech giants like Apple, Verizon, AT&T, Cisco and Amazon, the Irish government, the ACLU, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have backed Microsoft's stance.”