You Keep It, They Peep It: No Fourth Amendment For Foreign Data Storage?

The United States government is actively opposing Microsoft's endeavors to protect users' electronic information. Contesting a ruling from earlier this year that demanded warrants for online data, the government cited the Stored Communications Act to attempt to retrieve data from a server in Ireland, saying,"Overseas records must be disclosed domestically when a valid subpoena, order, or warrant compels their production. The disclosure of records under such circumstances has never been considered tantamount to a physical search under Fourth Amendment principles, and Microsoft is mistaken to argue that the SCA provides for an overseas search here. As there is no overseas search or seizure, Microsoft’s reliance on principles of extra-territoriality and comity falls wide of the mark."

According to, the case was in regards to information stored by drug traffickers and was a target for extensive search, but the principle remains the same. Better get your own external hard drive to store those terabytes of homemade furry videos, because if they're stored offshore, the government can enjoy them to their hearts' content.

Just assume your data's not safe anywhere.

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