Enlarge / Front row from left, US Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, and Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, back row from left, Associate Justice Elena Kagan, Associate Justice Samuel Alito Jr., Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch pose for a group portrait in the East Conference Room of the Supreme Court. (credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)
The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to decide whether law enforcement authorities, armed with a valid search warrant from a federal judge, can demand that the US tech sector hand over data that is stored on overseas servers. In this case, which is now one of the biggest privacy cases on the high court’s docket, the justices will review a lower court’s ruling that US warrants don’t apply to data housed on foreign servers, in this instance, a Microsoft server in Ireland.
The US government appealed, contending it has the legal right, with a valid court warrant, to reach into the world’s servers with the assistance of the tech sector, no matter where the data is stored.
The case has huge foreign policy ramifications as well.
Federal authorities sometimes demand that the US tech sector comply with court orders that conflict with laws of countries where the data is housed.
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