Apple sides with Microsoft in opposition to 'global search warrant' ruling

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 2014
Apple has thrown its hat into the ring with fellow technology and telecommunications giants Microsoft, Cisco, Verizon, and AT&T to oppose a federal court ruling that could force American companies to hand data about foreign customers over to the U.S. government in violation of international laws and treaties.




Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple's participation comes in the form of an amicus curiae, or "friend of the court," brief filed jointly with networking equipment maker Cisco on Friday in United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The filings were first spotted by GigaOm.

Microsoft is appealing portions of a warrant issued by U.S. magistrate judge James Francis IV ordering the company to give U.S. authorities access to email data from an Irish customer. That data is held in Ireland, and Microsoft charges that complying with the order would force it to break Irish data protection laws.

In earlier arguments, Microsoft suggested that the government could instead rely on the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty between the U.S. and Ireland, in which both countries have agreed to assist one another on gathering and exchanging information for the purposes of law enforcement. Judge Francis rejected both tacks, leading to Apple's intervention.

"In rejecting Microsoft's motion to vacate the search warrant, the Magistrate erred by failing to consider the conflicting obligations under foreign and domestic law that arise when courts order providers to produce data about foreign users stored in foreign countries," Apple and Cisco's filing reads. "By omitting this evaluation--and by dismissing the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty ("MLAT") process out of hand with no factual findings regarding the Irish MLAT at issue--the Magistrate placed the burden of reconciling conflicting international laws squarely on U.S. providers."

The companies go on to argue that upholding the warrant would place them and their employees at risk of foreign sanctions and could spur reciprocal legal actions on the part of international courts, putting the data of U.S. citizens in play.

The relative safety of foreign customers' data in the hands of U.S. technology companies has become in increasingly important issue as Silicon Valley firms struggle under the weight of revelations about the magnitude of the National Security Agency's data spying apparatus. Microsoft's is the latest in a string of high-profile cases that has seen large companies -- including Apple -- flex their legal muscle to challenge what is widely seen as overreaching on the part of the federal government.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 48
    "overreaching on the part of the federal government" seems to be a gross understatement!
  • Reply 2 of 48
    phone-ui-guyphone-ui-guy Posts: 1,018member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by applecored View Post



    "overreaching on the part of the federal government" seems to be a gross understatement!

     

    Agreed. This is really getting out of hand. The judges and politicians need to be put back into a much smaller sandbox. 

  • Reply 3 of 48
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member

    American authorities seem to have this real problem grasping the idea that the laws of the USA should pertain to the USA and no other country.

     

    If the US courts want to push this and enforce it.  I would like to see the EU forbid US companies from holding any data relating to EU residents.  Goodby every US based tech company - see ya.

  • Reply 4 of 48
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,051member
    What's with all the US judges these days? I don't remember reading about so many rogue judges ignoring the laws, making up weird interpretations of basic law, or just plain being crazy in the way they rule on standard law in the last 40 years. I know there have been judges that have ruled strangely, typically supreme court justices, but now it's every judge who want's their 5 seconds of fame. We already have all the judges with their weird rulings against Apple, not we have judges who don't remember what they learned in law school trying to be a judge for the world court. Let's get back to interpreting and ruling using real law not all these made up rulings based on who they're being paid off by.
  • Reply 5 of 48
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,599member

    What other company could you follow and learn so much about our screwed up government and legal system. These battles Apple has gotten into or are in the middle of is definitely a learning opportunity.

     

    In this case I did not know that treats exist which required mutual agreement to protect people personal information.

  • Reply 6 of 48

    Between IP rulings, privacy violations, national security boondoggles, capricious antitrust enforcement, and insane tax laws, our courts and our Feds seriously run the risk of ruining some of the brightest spots of the American economy.

     

    What a pathetic bunch of ignorant fools.

  • Reply 7 of 48
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

    I would like to see the EU forbid US companies from ....

    Good luck. The EU is a gutless wonder.

  • Reply 8 of 48
    taniwhataniwha Posts: 347member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

     
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

    I would like to see the EU forbid US companies from ....

    Good luck. The EU is a gutless wonder.


    A typically idiotic comment, but I know from direct experience that EU companies are turning away from the US because we don't trust the US and we don't accept the concept of US exceptionalism. The arrogance of America is not going to turn out well for anyone except their adversaries and competition, which is a good thing.  

  • Reply 9 of 48
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Taniwha View Post

     

    A typically idiotic comment, but I know from direct experience that EU companies are turning away from the US because we don't trust the US and we don't accept the concept of US exceptionalism. The arrogance of America is not going to turn out well for anyone except their adversaries and competition, which is a good thing.  


    And, another b-s posting from you.

     

    Your 'direct experience'? With what? For which product? Category? From which US company to which company (and country)? What competition?

  • Reply 10 of 48
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,752member
    And, another b-s posting from you.

    Your 'direct experience'? With what? For which product? Category? From which US company to which company (and country)? What competition?
    http://www.infoworld.com/d/the-industry-standard/the-nsas-spying-has-in-fact-hurt-us-cloud-providers-239168

    and apparently it's about to get worse?
    http://blogs.wsj.com/cio/2014/06/16/the-morning-download-europe-brazil-take-aim-at-u-s-tech/
    "A series of meetings between top-level officials in Europe and Brazil portend a rocky future for U.S. technology vendors overseas. New regulations in these regions could complicate matters for chief information officers of multinational corporations hoping to simplify their technology procurement processes.

    France’s minister for digital affairs Friday said the French government will start working on a common strategy with Germany to develop new digital regulations in Europe to prevent U.S. “monopolies” from obtaining a stranglehold on cloud technology. . ."
  • Reply 11 of 48
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

     
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post



    And, another b-s posting from you.



    Your 'direct experience'? With what? For which product? Category? From which US company to which company (and country)? What competition?


    http://www.infoworld.com/d/the-industry-standard/the-nsas-spying-has-in-fact-hurt-us-cloud-providers-239168



    and apparently it's about to get worse?

    http://blogs.wsj.com/cio/2014/06/16/the-morning-download-europe-brazil-take-aim-at-u-s-tech/

    "A series of meetings between top-level officials in Europe and Brazil portend a rocky future for U.S. technology vendors overseas. New regulations in these regions could complicate matters for chief information officers of multinational corporations hoping to simplify their technology procurement processes.



    France’s minister for digital affairs Friday said the French government will start working on a common strategy with Germany to develop new digital regulations in Europe to prevent U.S. “monopolies” from obtaining a stranglehold on cloud technology. . ."

     

    Useless links per usual (your Infoworld link actually says "Although worrying, the loss of business is not as great as analysts originally feared" and the other article is about Brazil, not the EU). Moroever, it completely misses the point of my posts.

     

    One, if you look at my post just prior, I actually talk about the potential impact of US courts and Feds on US tech firms. Two, I was talking about the EU, remarking how they're gutless vis-a-vis US bullying. Third, I was referring to that other guy's 'direct experience' and asking him to tell us/me whether and how his one data point is generalizable. I also asked him for specifics.

     

    Please move along, unless you have some specific examples of how the EU is standing up to the US on this (and a range of other) issues, not vacuous stuff like "we will talk to Germany about a common strategy...." (yeah, sure, that makes the US shiver in its boots). Thanks.

  • Reply 12 of 48
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,752member
    Useless links per usual yada yada

    I suppose useless if you have no interest in following EU responses to reports of spying. :\ Here's more links you'll surely find useless too. Others may find value in them tho.

    http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/387040/eu-wants-to-cut-us-power-over-the-internet
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/17/world/europe/us-germany-intelligence-partnership-falters-over-spying.html?_r=0
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/eu-threatens-stop-sharing-data-u-s-spying-reports-article-1.1391702

    With that said I have no doubt that some EU officials may have feigned disgust with US spying efforts while pushing for the EU to develop their own drone program and spy satellite system to reduce US dependence and our interference with EU goals. The Germans seem particularly intent on pushing the EU into separating their citizen and terrorism monitoring and response efforts from the US.
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/bruno-in-brussels-eu-unplugged/brusselsbruno/367/eu-planning-to-own-and-operate-spy-drones-and-an-air-force/
  • Reply 13 of 48
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,931member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

     

    Good luck. The EU is a gutless wonder.


    ???

     

    They weren't gutless when they fined Microsoft or Intel, or put restrictions on Google.

     

    Why are they "gutless"?  What have they done (or not done) that showed a lack of guts?  Especially in the area of resisting the influence of US technology firms.

  • Reply 14 of 48
    chiachia Posts: 699member
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

    Good luck. The EU is a gutless wonder.


     

    EU fines Microsoft $731 million for broken promise, warns others



     "Companies face severe sanctions for flouting EU rules, even accidentally."

    Wednesday's fine brings the total of EU fines issued against Microsoft over the past decade to more than 2.2 billion euros, making it the world's worst offender of EU rules.

    While the charge could have been higher, it still marks a firm sanction and will be carefully noted by the likes of Google, which is involved in a dispute with the Commission over how it ranks search engine results.



    Source: Reuters, Wed Mar 6, 2013.

  • Reply 15 of 48
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    I suppose useless if you have no interest in following EU responses .... blah blah blah

    Indeed, I do not. Here, I'll raise you one, with examples in three major domains:

     

    Ukrainehttp://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/2dcb625c-d146-11e3-81e0-00144feabdc0.html#axzz34pCv5lSQ

     

    Spyinghttp://euobserver.com/justice/122266

     

    Internethttp://technology.ie/icann-says-screw-eu-european-domain-registrars/

     

    (I have no further interest in continuing this with you).

  • Reply 16 of 48
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,752member
    Indeed, I do not. Here, I'll raise you one, with examples in three major domains:

    Ukrainehttp://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/2dcb625c-d146-11e3-81e0-00144feabdc0.html#axzz34pCv5lSQ

    Spyinghttp://euobserver.com/justice/122266

    Internethttp://technology.ie/icann-says-screw-eu-european-domain-registrars/

    (I have no further interest in continuing this with you).

    You had enough intererest to go looking for additional articles. Thanks for those. I don't think them useless either. ;)
  • Reply 17 of 48
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,931member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

     

    Indeed, I do not. Here, I'll raise you one, with examples in three major domains:

     

    Ukrainehttp://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/2dcb625c-d146-11e3-81e0-00144feabdc0.html#axzz34pCv5lSQ

     

    Spyinghttp://euobserver.com/justice/122266

     

    Internethttp://technology.ie/icann-says-screw-eu-european-domain-registrars/

     

    (I have no further interest in continuing this with you).


     

    Only the last one of those links has anything to do with technology, and in it appears the EU is standing its ground.  It may not be winning the fight any time soon, but it's fighting it.  So not gutless.

     

    The Ukraine one is hardly a simple situation, and in the spying one the entire point is that the commissioner is under fire for backing down.  Maybe she was gutless, but she's being taken to task for it.

  • Reply 18 of 48
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

     

    ???

     

    They weren't gutless when they fined Microsoft or Intel, or put restrictions on Google.

     

    Why are they "gutless"?  What have they done (or not done) that showed a lack of guts?  Especially in the area of resisting the influence of US technology firms.


     

     

    Those are just specific examples against specific companies when they've violated specific laws in the EU. Any court or government would do that. For example, the US has imposed many dozens of such fines on EU companies too.

     

    The original post I was responding to (from cnocbui above) said: "I would like to see the EU forbid US companies from holding any data relating to EU residents.  Goodby [sic] every US based tech company - see ya."

     

    You guys think that such a ruling is remotely likely? Really?

     

    (Edited to fix a typo).

  • Reply 19 of 48
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

     

    If the US courts want to push this and enforce it.  I would like to see the EU forbid US companies from holding any data relating to EU residents.  Goodby every US based tech company - see ya.


    I'm all for that. Then no EU citizen would visit the US since their credit cards would not be valid here because companies in the US would not be allowed to store the transaction nor would EU citizens be able to order anything online from the US either, like software. Totally cool with that are you?.

     

    Bye-bye EU tech companies.

  • Reply 20 of 48
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,931member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

     

    The original post I was responding to (from cnocbui above) said: "I would like to see the EU forbid US companies from holding any data relating to EU residents.  Goodby [sic] every US based tech company - see ya."

     

    You guys think that such a ruling is remotely likely? Really?


     

    Obviously not, because it's a reaction exaggerated for effect.  I'm not responding to that, I'm responding to you.

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