Microsoft v. US, Docket No. 14-2985 (2nd. Cir. July 14, 2016) Opinion hosted by DocumentCloud.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed in part, vacated in part, and remanded the decision of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The Second Circuit found the Magistrate Judge’s decision rested on a mistaken interpretation of the statute and its legislative history, and accordingly reversed the District Court’s denial of Microsoft’s motion to quash a warrant, reversed the District Court’s finding of civil contempt, and remanded with instructions to quash the warrant insofar as it directs Microsoft to produce customer content stored outside of the United States.
The Second Circuit held that the warrant provisions in § 2703 of the Stored Communications Act, 18 USC §§2701-2712 (1986) (“SCA”), cannot be used to compel a service provider to disclose user e-mail content stored exclusively on a server in a foreign country. In so holding, the Court noted that the SCA granted users a privacy interest in their stored electronic communication, and that the SCA formally recognized that service providers take on a “special role” when acting on behalf of the government. The Fourth Amendment restrictions apply to service providers when acting pursuant to this “special role.” (more…)