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United States Government Privacy The Courts

Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours 749

An anonymous reader points out this story about the U.S. Justice Department's claim that companies served with valid warrants for data must produce that data even if the data is not stored in the U.S. Global governments, the tech sector, and scholars are closely following a legal flap in which the US Justice Department claims that Microsoft must hand over e-mail stored in Dublin, Ireland. In essence, President Barack Obama's administration claims that any company with operations in the United States must comply with valid warrants for data, even if the content is stored overseas. It's a position Microsoft and companies like Apple say is wrong, arguing that the enforcement of US law stops at the border. A magistrate judge has already sided with the government's position, ruling in April that "the basic principle that an entity lawfully obligated to produce information must do so regardless of the location of that information." Microsoft appealed to a federal judge, and the case is set to be heard on July 31.
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Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

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  • Re:Maybe, maybe not. (Score:3, Informative)

    by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Monday July 14, 2014 @06:33PM (#47451975) Homepage Journal

    The *real* question is what about companies that do business here but are based in other countries?

    - what do you mean it is a 'question'? We already know the answer to this. [] If a business has any presence on USA soil, the oppressive dictatorial USA government feels that it has full authority to demand all information from that business about its customers and their transactions.

  • Re:Maybe, maybe not. (Score:2, Informative)

    by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Monday July 14, 2014 @06:37PM (#47452005) Homepage Journal

    Oh, and by the way it is not only just foreign businesses that operate on USA soil that are forced to comply with nonsensical USA demands, the foreign governments are giving in whenever presented with any demand really. [] USA is way out of line on all of its oppressive tactics, it will not end well.

  • what a headline (Score:5, Informative)

    by maliqua ( 1316471 ) on Monday July 14, 2014 @06:52PM (#47452139)

    That's not got an agenda behind it at all. what it means to say is US owns data of US companies/citizens even if they hide it outside the USA that seems some what reasonable.

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Monday July 14, 2014 @07:05PM (#47452235) Journal

    It's interesting that right at this moment, the Obama Adminstration is pushing an international treaty that will make it so that corporations do not have to comply with a country's laws. It's called "TISA" and it's so bad that it was supposed to be secret for five years after it's ratified and put into action. We only know about it because Wikileaks released a leaked portion of it.

    Secret laws being adjudicated in secret courts. All at the behest of corporations who then want (like Microsoft) to not have to comply. It's a pretty ugly type of fascism.

  • by Luckyo ( 1726890 ) on Monday July 14, 2014 @07:22PM (#47452397)

    This gets more warped. It would likely be illlegal to produce certain data on EU citizens like this according to EU privacy directive. Company would be forced to choose to either follow US law or EU law, as these would be at odds with one another.

    I can see policy like this bringing current globalization trend to a screeching halt as companies would split to have daughter companies incorporated and operating only in certain countries to shield them against this kind of abuse.

  • Re:Overreach (Score:3, Informative)

    by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Monday July 14, 2014 @07:24PM (#47452413) Journal

    There are several types of warrants. What you are describing is just a single warrant generally referred to as a search warrant.

    What we have here is a subpoena , or more precisely a subpoena duces tecum []. This subpoena has been used in law since before the country was founded and throughout its existence. IT basically means you need to produce something to the court or whatever agency the law allowing it dictates. It's issued by a judge after a lawful request failed in procuring the items. It generally requires substantial knowledge that a person or entity is in possession of them.

  • by jbolden ( 176878 ) on Monday July 14, 2014 @07:28PM (#47452429) Homepage

    You cannot serve warrents to search property in other countries.

    Yes you can. If Microsoft stole an antique and shipped it to China, and then was ordered to produce it they couldn't say "well its in China so we don't have produce it".

  • Re:Maybe, maybe not. (Score:2, Informative)

    by DamnOregonian ( 963763 ) on Monday July 14, 2014 @08:26PM (#47452837)
    They are able to.

    All you can hope, is that said company is wise enough not to have data you consider sensitive on their server in China.
  • Re:Maybe, maybe not. (Score:5, Informative)

    by davecb ( 6526 ) <> on Monday July 14, 2014 @09:29PM (#47453241) Homepage Journal

    The criteria is "the company that has the power to demand the data, has to do so if ordered by their country's courts". This probably dates back to the 16th century or earlier. Some time around the Hanseatic League...

    A Canadian company with data in Outer Mongolia has to produce the data if it can. If the Outer Mongols prohibit the Canadian company from demanding it normally, the Canadians can't be ordered to produce it, because the data isn't in the Canadian company's control. If they allow it to be demanded normally, a Canadian court can get it. They have to do it via the Mongolian branch, they can't just issue court orders in Mongolia.

    Your suspicion is correct: a Canadian company that controls data in the U.S. can indeed be ordered by a Canadian court to produce it .


  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Monday July 14, 2014 @09:48PM (#47453343) Journal

    The TISA is classified so investment groups wouldn't take advantage of it before it went into effect, thus screwing you and I over.

    For five years after it becomes law?

    Also, it's been in negotiation for 2 fucking decade, so not really 'Obama'.

    Exactly right. This treaty, which creates corporate sovereignty, is being negotiated in secret...from us. Do you really believe for a moment that it's also secret from the companies that will benefit, like Goldman Sachs?

    Every president for the past 30 years has been playing for the same team. And the team does not include us.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 14, 2014 @10:29PM (#47453567)

    I don't even think we make out own military ships in the USA anymore?

    Nope, it's still a legal requirement that all US Navy ships be built in the US.

    So with rare exception, all US Navy ships are built in the US. Newport News Shipbuilding Company handles the Aircraft Carriers (2 currently in construction) along with other ships, Ingalls Shipbuilding and Bath Iron Works do submarines, cruisers, destroyers and the amphibious assault ships (equivalent to what any other country would call Aircraft Carriers in displacement), Bollinger Shipyards which does a lot of work for the Coast Guard, Electric Boat Company builds submarines (if you can't tell from the name, though it's owned by General Dynamics now). San Diego has a shipyard, it is constructing some cargo vessels for the Navy, whether that meets your standard of a military vessel, I don't know. There is one company, Austal, which builds ships for the Navy, it is Australian owned, but they have shipyards in Alabama.

  • Obama is a fool. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Monday July 14, 2014 @11:27PM (#47453779)

    It will take a long time for those that have linked their personal identity to the man to admit this point... but he always has been a fool.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 14, 2014 @11:41PM (#47453813)

    Actually the US government is trying to have it both ways...

    "In the Sarasota case, the U.S. Marshals Service claimed it owned the records Sarasota police offered to the ACLU because it had deputized the detective in the case, making all documentation in the case federal property. Before the ACLU could view the documents Sarasota had put aside for them, the agency dispatched a marshal from its office in Tampa to seize the records and move them to an undisclosed location."

    Oh, the irony.

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