Apple is one of the biggest companies that sided with Microsoft in the software giant’s legal dispute against the United States Department of Justice over a global search warrant.
Microsoft is fighting a US government ruling that would force companies to provide access to information belonging to foreign customers and stored in data centers that are not located in the United States.
The Redmond-based software giant is required in one such case to hand data from a server in Ireland, and the company says that such a request would violate Irish data protection laws and instead provide the United States government with access to details of any of its customers no matter where they live.
Salesforce also sides with Microsoft
Microsoft’s President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith revealed that the 23 amicus briefs were signed by 289 different groups and individuals from 37 countries, using comments from privacy experts and government officials to support his company’s goal.
“Members of Congress took the same position as members of the European Parliament. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce approvingly quoted a statement by the European Commission. Business groups and big companies agreed with consumer and privacy advocates. Faculty from Harvard joined with professors from Princeton. Professors from Duke joined rivals from the University of North Carolina, while those at Berkeley sided with Stanford. And Fox News agreed with the American Civil Liberties Union,” he said.
Smith emphasized that approving global search warrants would basically open the doors to customer information to any government across the world, which would eventually lead to no privacy for US citizens.
“If the U.S. government obtains the power to search and seize foreign citizens’ private communications physically stored in other countries, it will invite other governments to do the same thing. If we ignore other countries’ laws, how can we demand that they respect our laws?” he explained.
The Supreme Court will decide on Microsoft’s case next month. Other organizations that support Microsoft in the legal dispute include CNN, Fox News, Dropbox, Cisco, Salesforce, HP, Verizon, and IBM.