U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

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Second Circuit vacates warrant permitting U.S. law enforcement to seize electronic information stored outside of U.S. by non-U.S. individuals and companies

July 14, 2016

The Second Circuit vacated the search warrant, holding that “§ 2703 of the Stored Communications Act does not authorize courts to issue and enforce against U.S. based service providers warrants for the seizure of customer e-mail content that is stored exclusively on foreign servers.”

U.S. Chamber files amicus brief

December 15, 2014

In a coalition brief, the U.S. Chamber asked the Second Circuit to reverse the judgment of the district court and vacate a search warrant on Microsoft U.S. headquarters, issued under 18 U.S.C. § 2703(a), which would allow federal agents to access a customer’s private emails on a computer in Dublin, Ireland, where they are protected by Irish and European privacy laws. The brief argued that by permitting U.S. law enforcement authorities to use a warrant to reach outside the United States to seize—without complying with the legal requirements of the nation in which the information is stored—electronic information stored by non-U.S. individuals and companies will evaporate trust in U.S. cloud services providers, hindering U.S. companies’ ability to compete in the market and cause harm to the U.S. economy. The brief further argued that the government’s position, if adopted by the court, will deter the use of remote data management technologies by businesses and individuals, particularly, their use of U.S. cloud services providers, thereby undermining a significant contributor to U.S. economic growth.

The brief was filed jointly with the Software Alliance, Center for Democracy and Technology, the National Association of Manufacturers and the App Association.

Andrew J. Pincus, Paul W. Hughes, and James F. Tierney of Mayer Brown LLP represented the U.S. Chamber as co-counsel to the U.S. Chamber Litigation

U.S. Chamber amicus brief filed 12/15/2014.

Decided 7/14/2016.

Petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc filed 10/13/2016.

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