Microsoft has picked up some high-profile support for its fight against a U.S. search warrant targeting information stored in its Ireland data center.
The company announced today that a total of 10 Amicus Curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs have been filed in the case by leading members of the tech industry, trade groups, media companies and academics. The briefs support Microsoft’s position that it should not be forced to give up information that’s stored outside the U.S.
Organizations and companies that have signed onto the briefs include Apple, Amazon, the American Civil Liberties Union, eBay, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, The Seattle Times, The Washington Post and Verizon.
Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith and others from the tech industry outlined their position in a webcast this morning from New York City, hosted by former ABC news anchor Charles Gibson.
“Cloud computing advances from US companies have helped every country on the planet do things that weren’t possible five years ago,” Victoria Espinel, the president and CEO of the BSA software alliance, said in a statement. “The government must find a way to fight crime without crushing the most important innovation of our time.”
The ruling could carry far-reaching consequences for U.S. companies and the cloud market in general. Smith has said in past public appearances that international governments and customers are concerned about the U.S. government accessing their data, and they are mulling alternatives to American cloud companies because of that.
It’s another salvo in Microsoft’s ongoing appeal of the warrant. The company filed a brief in the case last week calling out the government’s double standard in the case, saying that U.S. officials wouldn’t be happy if data in one of Microsoft’s domestic data centers was subject to a warrant from another government.