Microsoft is unhappy with a federal judge who ordered the company cannot inform a large corporate customer that the U.S. government has issued a warrant for its data. In a blogpost, Microsoft says it will challenge the decision.
The so-called “sneak and peek” warrant would result in Microsoft giving the government customer data. However, the high-profile organizational customer would not be given notice of its data being shared.
“We have challenged that order in the lower court, and we will pursue an appeal in the appellate court if necessary,” said Dev Stahlkopf, Microsoft's general counsel in a blogpost.
Under US laws subjects of sneak and peek warrants do not need to be informed of data requests. Microsoft has been a long-time critic of this practice. Along with fellow tech giants Amazon and Apple, the company has sued the government over sneak and peek warrants.
According to Stahlkopf, Microsoft did not have full information on this case. He did say the customer was a major corporation with thousands of employees.
“Based on the limited information available to us in this case, we feel the secrecy order was too broadly drawn and is inconsistent with the U.S. government's policy that secrecy orders be narrowly tailored,” Stahlkopf said.
Earlier this month, Microsoft president and chief lawyer Brad Smith said the U.S. government has asked the company why it won't spy on other nations.
Microsoft has previously made it clear it would not use its services and data to spy on users. However, the advisor wanted to know why that was the case.
“How can governments regulate a technology that is bigger than themselves?” Smith writes in the book. “This is perhaps the single greatest conundrum confronting technology's regulatory future. But once you ask the question, one part of the answer becomes clear: Governments will need to work together.”