Major win for Microsoft in ‘free for all’ data case
The US government cannot force Microsoft to give authorities access to the firm’s servers located in other countries, a court has ruled.
The decision is being seen as a precedent for protecting the privacy of cloud computing services.
The US Department of Justice had wanted to access a server in Ireland, as part of an investigation into a drugs case.
The ruling, made by an appeals court, overturns an order granted by a court in Manhattan in 2014.
The DoJ said it was disappointed by the decision and was considering what it would do next. If it appeals, the case could then move to the US Supreme Court.
Microsoft said it welcomed the ruling.
“It makes clear that the US government can no longer seek to use its search warrants on a unilateral basis to reach into other countries and obtain the emails that belong to people of other nationalities,” Brad Smith, president and chief legal officer, of Microsoft told the BBC.
“It tells people they can indeed trust technology as they move their information to the cloud,” he said.
Microsoft thanked the companies that had backed its appeal, which included the likes of Amazon, Apple and Cisco.
Another of Microsoft’s backers was the Open Rights Group, a UK-based organisation that campaigns for digital rights.
“The US Court’s decision has upheld the right to individual privacy in the face of the US State’s intrusion into personal liberty,” the group’s legal director Myles Jackman said on Thursday.
“As a consequence, US law enforcement agencies must respect European citizens’ digital privacy rights and the protection of their personal data.
“States should not arbitrarily reach across borders just because they feel they can bully companies into doing so.”
Microsoft had warned that allowing the search warrant to be conducted could open up a global privacy “free for all”. Other countries, the company said, would perhaps seek to apply their own search warrants to servers located in the US.
Echoing a constant concern of those in tech industry, Microsoft said the laws were simply too outdated to be effective.
“The protection of privacy and the needs of law enforcement require new legal solutions that reflect the world that exists today – rather than technologies that existed three decades ago when current law was enacted.”
MH370 Relatives’ Anger at ‘Ignored’ Debris
Families of passengers from missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 have told the BBC that Malaysian authorities seem to be ignoring possible new evidence.
Two trips to Madagascar to pick up what might be debris from the plane have been cancelled at the last minute, according to the man that found them.
The potential clues have been left untouched for weeks, with no prospect of them being gathered and examined.
“Credible evidence is turning up, why are they not investigating it?” Grace Subathirai Nathan told the BBC.
Her mother, Anne Daisy, was on MH370 when it disappeared in March 2014.
“From day one we’ve had the notion they want an end to it, to sweep it under the rug. How can potential evidence be unattended for a month? It’s becoming a farce.”
American Blaine Gibson sold the family home to fund his own search for parts of MH370. Having found one piece in Mozambique that investigators say is “almost certainly” from the plane, he travelled to Madagascar where he uncovered more potential evidence.
Blaine says a Malaysian investigator was initially due to fly to Madagascar to retrieve the debris on 16 June. That was then changed to 21 June. A press conference was lined up, then the trip was cancelled at the last minute.
Blaine even offered to take the finds to Malaysia himself but says his offer was turned down.
Grace is not the only frustrated MH370 family member.
“It’s been nearly a month, but the Malaysian response has been bordering on indifferent”, K S Narendran, known as Naren, told the BBC.
“The point is, these are all pieces of a puzzle, that pieced together might tell us a story.” Naren lost his wife Chandrika on the plane.
The official reason is that they don’t have enough money for the trip, but Naren suspects something else.
“I wonder if it’s just a way to bring it to a quiet close.”
The Australian Transport Safety Board told the BBC: “Australia is leading the underwater search for MH370 but it is Malaysia, as the investigating body, that retains authority for coordinating the examination of debris.”
Sir Mick Jagger Expecting Eighth Child!
Rolling Stone Sir Mick Jagger is expecting his eighth child.
A spokesman confirmed that the singer’s girlfriend, 29-year-old American ballerina Melanie Hamrick, is pregnant.
Sir Mick, 72, already has seven children whose ages range from 17 to 45 and he became a great-grandfather last year.
The news comes two months after fellow Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood became a father again aged 68, after his wife Sally Humphreys had twin girls.
Sir Mick began dating Hamrick after the suicide of L’Wren Scott in 2014, his partner of 13 years.
The music star had his other children with Marsha Hunt, Bianca Jagger, Jerry Hall and Luciana Gimenez Morad.
He has five grandchildren and became a great-grandfather in May 2014 when his granddaughter Assisi, daughter of Jade Jagger, gave birth to a baby girl.
The Rolling Stones have confirmed they are working on a new, blues-inspired album for release this year.