Likewise Apple, Microsoft has declared war to the US Government, but it went even further and filed lawsuit on Thursday in federal court in Seattle. The American multinational technology company headquartered in Redmond, Washington is furious because the US Government doesn’t let it inform its customers when federal agencies are reading their emails. This is a violation of privacy and customers need to know about government requests for their emails.
It looks like the government doesn’t care about the Fourth Amendment, which clearly says that people and businesses have the right to know when federal agencies are searching or seizing their property. Spokeswoman Emily Pierce said that the Department of Justice is reviewing the filing.
Microsoft doesn’t focus on what’s stored on people’s computers, and instead is focusing on data stored on remote servers – electronic data, which can be easily obtained by the government, which is using the Electronic Communications Privacy Act to direct investigations at the parties that save information in the cloud.
Unfortunately, the law is outdated, being written before the rise of the commercial Internet and according to Microsoft, the government “has exploited the transition to cloud computing as a means of expanding its power to conduct secret investigations.”
Microsoft has joined the battle against the US Government after Apple was asked to write software to unlock an iPhone belonging to one of the shooters from the massacre in San Bernardino, California. Microsoft has backed Apple and it’s hoping that other technology companies will fight against the state in order to protect their users’ privacy.
Because of the government surveillance, Microsoft has been struggling to keep its cloud customers or to win new ones. In the last year and a half, Microsoft has received 5,624 legal orders under the ECPA and 2,576 of them have prevented Microsoft to disclose that the government is monitoring individuals’ data, through warrants or subpoenas.
Microsoft filed a lawsuit a day after a U.S. congressional panel voted to advance a package of reforms to the ECPA.