IRELAND – Microsoft has been under fire from the United States government after a federal warrant requested the company to hand over contents of servers located in Ireland. However, the Irish government has stepped in and is working on the side of Microsoft. The State filed an amicus brief with the Court of Appeals here in the United States, and the Irish government even went as far as to pledge their full support amid the ongoing investigation. Ireland contends that the United States should use a treaty to resolve their legal issues when legal matters are occurring outside the United States, and in other country’s jurisdiction.
Irish authorities go on to point out what Microsoft has been saying all along. Noting that if the company were to turn over the email files, and other confidential files that are related to the matter that they would ultimately be breaking international and Irish law. That would come in form of extending and exceeding the authority that the United States actually has with their own legislation outside of the United States.
This is a story that has dominated the news in recent weeks due to the fact that it would be a massive win for the United States government, should they win against Microsoft. The Irish said in their amicus briefing that “Ireland has a genuine and legitimate interest in potential infringements by other states of its sovereign rights with respect to its jurisdiction over its territory. Ireland respectfully asserts that foreign courts are obligated to respect Irish sovereignty.”
What they’re arguing is not a stretch, either. In fact, it’s fairly simple. The United States could set a precedent by winning on a decision like this, and ultimately, it’s not only in the interest of the tech-companies to see that the United States isn’t able to obtain these documents and data – but in the interest of the global community because of the reach into other countries that would ultimately occur. Even the European Union has sided with the Irish noting that both parties have signed a treaty that explains that there are functions to move through, in order to resolve this issue in a timely, and unanimously legal fashion.
The push from the Irish government should give Microsoft the edge it needs as it heads into further legal actions stemming from the drug trafficking investigation that landed all three of these entities battling together.