Google has been ordered by a Philadelphia judge to obey search warrants for emails that are stored on servers outside of the US. Which contradicts an appeal that Microsoft had won a court case earlier this year which got it off the hook when it was requested to turn over similar information.
The court ruled that transferring the messages to the US didn’t count as seizing foreign information, in addition, the judge stated that the privacy violation only occurs when emails are disclosed in the US.
Needless to say, Google, is not happy. During the case, Google directly cited the ruling of Microsoft’s case as a precedent and then argued that it had obeyed the order when the information was stored in the US. Google does plan to appeal the decision though stating that the judge “departed” from the precedent.
It wouldn’t be surprising to hear Google winning their appeal as Microsoft had won theirs and managed to survive legal scrutiny. It argues that users outside of the US would have their data governed by local laws as opposed to foreign powers where a business may be based. This ruling does show that there isn’t a final answer on how data beyond US borders is to be handled and retrieved when needed for a legal process.