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Decision Holds That Search Warrant Cannot Compel Data Stored Overseas

Ellie Chapman and Mark Krotoski, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, July 2016

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The landmark ruling is the first by a federal court of appeals to address the extraterritoriality of the Stored Communications Act. Microsoft and other US-based internet service providers won a major victory on July 14 at the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which held that the company is not required to comply with a federal search warrant for customer emails stored on a server in Dublin, Ireland. The ruling is the first by a federal court of appeals to address the extraterritoriality of the Stored Communications Act (SCA) often used in government investigations to obtain data. Whether other courts will follow this groundbreaking ruling remains to be seen.

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