U.S. court blocks prosecutors from seizing emails stored overseas

The Japan Times 

NEW YORK – Microsoft on Thursday scored a big victory on a keenly watched privacy battlefront, with a U.S. appeals court saying prosecutors cannot force U.S. companies to turn over customer emails and other data stored on servers overseas. The government suggested that the ruling could hamper national security investigations. The three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously overturned a lower court's contempt finding against Microsoft for not handing over a customer's emails stored in Ireland. Federal prosecutors wanted the material for use in a drug trafficking investigation. The ruling in the closely watched case was a victory for high-tech companies in the burgeoning "cloud computing" business, in which data is kept not on personal computers but on giant and sometimes distant servers.

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