Microsoft's long-running battle with the US government over data stored in its Ireland datacentre is set to be decided by the Supreme Court.
Last July Microsoft seemingly won a court scrap with US law enforcement, meaning that data stored in foreign datacentres could not be seized under current legislation for criminal investigations.
The case involved information stored on a Microsoft server in Ireland that the US government believed it should have access to under warrants issued in the US.
Microsoft appeared to have been victorious, but the US Supreme Court has now agreed to make a final decision on the matter, following a petition from the US Department of Justice.
In a blog post, Microsoft president Brad Smith reaffirmed its stance that the US government should not have access to data stored overseas, likening it to physical property that would not be attainable if it was not located in the country.
He called for a review of outdated laws put in place before the internet and cloud computing existed.
"The current law, ECPA, was enacted in 1986 when the World Wide Web was still a few years away from being invented and no one conceived of conducting most work and personal business online," he said.
"A world connected by cloud services simply didn't exist. The ways in which we communicate have radically changed over the past three decades — but the laws governing those communications haven't. Current laws don't adequately support the needs of law enforcement anywhere in the world or protect our rights."
Earlier this year Google lost a battle with the US government and was ordered to hand over data stored overseas. The case differed slightly to Microsoft's case, however, in that this data was regularly moved around the world to improve speed - and was never intended to be stored in one specific location.
The ability for US-based cloud providers like Microsoft and Amazon to keep data protected from the US government has often been raised as a concern by UK hosting providers.
In court papers, Bloomberg reports, US deputy solicitor general Jeffrey Wall said: "Under [Microsoft's] opinion, hundreds if not thousands of investigations of crimes… ranging from terrorism, to child pornography, to fraud… are being or will be hampered by the government's inability to obtain electronic evidence."
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