Microsoft’s long-running legal ramblings with the US Department of Justice are set to continue. The DoJ is not letting the matter rest after a recent Microsoft victory. The governmental organization has filed a petition to reopen its case against the company. The Department of Justice disagrees with a judge’s verdict that Microsoft cannot be forced to hand over user data.
The DoJ originally requested data from Microsoft that was held in an Ireland-based data center. The company insists that it should not have to give up data held in foreign countries. Doing so would set a dangerous precedent and courts have so far agreed.
Many other tech giants have sided with Microsoft, while the whole industry has kept a close eye on the case. It is a precedent-setting legal battle. If Microsoft were to lose, it could open the door for the government to seize data from companies. Moreover, the DoJ would have the power to take data even if it is held outside the United States.
In July, Microsoft was handed a big victory when a court ruled in its favor. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York overturned an earlier ruling that gave the DoJ a victory. Legislation that lets the government request/demand data from companies in the US should not be intended for offshore datacenters. That was the decision reached by the appeals court.
At the time the company said the decision “ensured that people’s privacy rights are protected by the laws of their own countries; helped ensure that the legal protections of the physical world apply in the digital domain and paved the way for better solutions to address both privacy and law enforcement needs.”
As expected, the Department of Justice is not letting the matter end there. The government division has decided to file a petition in a bid to continue the legal fight. The document says the case “involves a question of exceptional importance,” and argues the ruling in Microsoft’s favor disrupts legal investigations within the US.