Microsoft V. Department Of Justice Case Summary

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Case: Microsoft v. Department of Justice (2016) United States District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle

Facts: Microsoft sued the Department of Justice (DOJ) in April 2016 challenging portions of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) which allows the government to serve a warrant on the company to get access to customers’ emails and other information stored on remote servers (the cloud), all without telling users their data is being searched or seized. The Government has pursued nearly 2,600 secrecy orders within the last year silencing Microsoft from speaking about the warrants. The Constitution permits the Government to gather evidence and identify suspects without providing advance warning to their intended
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Microsoft does not own the rights of its customers. Microsoft is a business providing electronic services for its customers to use. The appropriate party to bring this type of claim into court would be the one whose information is being pursued rather than the one from which the information is being requested for. The standard that Fourth Amendment rights are personal rights of which may not be vicariously asserted was presented in Alderman v. United States, that limited a third party’s efforts to raise the effect of the rule in criminal proceedings. In addition, the obligation to give notice of a search being requested stems from Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure as stated …show more content…
Microsoft has yet to do so. Microsoft has failed to identify any particular injury to any particular case. Instead, Microsoft is only bringing forth the nondisclosure obligations they are required to satisfy upon receiving the court orders. They are asking the court to determine the lawfulness of each court order they have received thus far which necessarily differs from case to case. Being that Microsoft has not alleged any concrete damage or injury, there is no case or controversy that can be brought upon to court. For example, in Sierra Club v. Morton, the Court held that the Sierra Club failed to plead an actual injury…therefore lacked standing to sue. In this case, the only injury that can arise would be that from a particular case of which Microsoft has no concrete evidence of. In their attempt of challenging a group of cases, instead of one particular case, Microsoft’s claim are leaning more towards a policy argument of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act instead of a fight for their customers’

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