Microsoft privacy case is heading to Supreme Court

Foreign countries may be troubled’

This conflict has captured the attention of Congress, where just this week a group of bipartisan lawmakers introduced legislation that would clarify the rules on cross-border data searches. If that legislation passes, the case against Microsoft may be rendered moot — if not, the Supreme Court will be forced to weigh in on a thorny topic that could pose negative consequences for America’s image abroad.

“Foreign countries may be troubled by the idea that U.S. law enforcement can search the files of any company with a U.S. office, even if those files are located overseas,” says Matthew Tokson, an associate professor at University of Utah’s College of Law and an expert on digital privacy.

“This is especially sensitive territory,” he added, in an email to Yahoo Finance, “because U.S. surveillance of foreigners for national security purposes has already caused foreign countries to be wary of U.S.-based tech companies, hurting U.S. businesses.”

Or, as another associate law professor, Jennifer Daskal of American University’s Washington College of Law, put it, “There’s an ongoing concern about the scope of U.S. surveillance.”



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