The Supreme Court fight over rights to data on Microsoft’s foreign servers is now over. On March 30th, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has requested the Supreme Court to drop its case against Microsoft over digital privacy as moot, after Congress passed the CLOUD Act. In fact, Microsoft backed the justice department's request to dismiss the lawsuit and filed with the Supreme Court, to agree to the motion.
In the filing, the Microsoft's lawyer said, “Microsoft agrees with the government that there is no longer a live case or controversy between the parties with respect to the question presented”.
Microsoft's legal battle with the DOJ began in 2013 when the former refused to hand over emails – relevant to a drug-trafficking case – stored on a server in Dublin to US officials.
Microsoft Corp argued that sharing data stored on foreign servers could violate international treaties and policies. Additionally, the technology giant also said that there was no law to provide any clarity over whether the “US prosecutors can force technology companies to hand over data stored overseas” or not.
However, with the CLOUD Act passed, both Microsoft and the US justice department have agreed the lawsuit (to test cross-border privacy) is meaningless.
The Justice Department has now procured a new warrant that would be governed by the new law.