There is being an ongoing lawsuit between Microsoft Corporation and the US Government regarding online privacy. The software giant is against a law that allows the Federal agencies to snoop into a user’s private details without even notifying them. Microsoft has found this rule to be unethical and demands that every user should always be informed about any surveillance on their privacy. Several high-profile companies like Apple, Amazon and Google has legally filed their support for Microsoft in the court.
The concern is about the ECPA (Electronic Communications Privacy Act) which lets the Government of USA infringes upon the digital privacy of its citizens. The firms who have actively backed Microsoft include the National Association of Manufacturers, Eli Lilly and Company, The Washington Post, the National Newspaper Association, Google, Electronic Frontier Foundation, US Chamber of Commerce, Delta Air Lines Inc., BP America, Fox News, Apple Inc., Amazon.com, Mozilla and several others.
All the corporations have officially filed the friend of the court as non-participants on Friday. In the filling, all of them have actively supported Microsoft in the case against the US Department of Justice. The companies firmly suggested that the law facilitating the violation of online privacy should be discarded.
Microsoft filed the case in April stating that the government agencies are actively monitoring or snooping into personal data placed on third-party computers. The company accused the federal firms of restricting it from notifying its consumers about the illegitimate surveillance.
The Redmond-based tech giant claims that the Government of USA is breaching the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution which clearly states that peoples or businesses should be informed if any of their private property is searched or seized. Additionally, it also violates the First Amendment which is meant to allow the company to speak to its customers regarding the effects of any Government action on their data.
The US Justice Department reasons that the government has the right to keep some information confidential to proceed with a few high profile criminal investigations. On this, Microsoft reacted by saying that the federal agencies are rampantly misusing this to snoop into random personal data.
The case primarily emphasizes on the data stored remote cloud servers. The Redmond giant mentioned that in last 18 months, it had encountered 2600 orders from the federal court asking it to refrain from letting its customers know that their data has been compromised. Insisting on the fact, Microsoft strongly argues that the US Government is exploiting the 30-year-old ECPA.
The lawsuit is presently in the hands of the US District Court at Western District of Washington. If Microsoft wins the case, it will be a revolutionary achievement towards the better security of our digital privacy in the future.