Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Supreme Court Justices will hear oral arguments in the ongoing United States v. Microsoft data privacy case. The case explores whether U.S. law enforcement can compel Microsoft, a U.S. company, to provide communications content stored on a server in Ireland. In our interconnected, cloud-enabled word, this case represents an important piece of the broader challenge resulting from legal ambiguity and conflict in international requests for communications data.
ACT | The App Association President Morgan Reed issued the following statement ahead of oral arguments at the Supreme Court:
“Today’s oral arguments mark another step in the long search for clarity on lawful access to data. For nearly five years, tech and law enforcement communities have watched courts debate the reach of law enforcement warrants for data stored overseas. Throughout this process we’ve had one plea — Congress must update data access laws to reflect the realities of our modern, interconnected, and cloud-driven world.
“Companies have too often been locked in legal battles between conflicting government regimes over unclear American statutes around warrants for data. We are most concerned for the thousands of app developers and small tech companies that depend on cloud computing and remote data storage to serve overseas markets, but lack the resources and litigation budgets to resolve conflicts abroad. We respect the decision of the Supreme Court as they rule on the merits of this case, but we urge Congress to update data access laws to prevent conflicts in the future.
“Regardless of the outcomes of this case, we need a legislative solution. We support the bipartisan CLOUD Act introduced in the House and Senate and encourage all members of Congress to pass it. All of us—but especially small businesses—need a lasting framework to resolve conflict and ambiguity in data access laws. The CLOUD Act would accomplish this — providing legal clarity, protecting our privacy, and enabling law enforcement to keep us safe.”
To learn more about the CLOUD Act, please click here.