Apple and Others File Support for Microsoft in Fight for Government Data Access Disclosures

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Apple and other companies today filed friend-of-the-court briefs to support Microsoft in its legal fight with the U.S. Department of Justice. Microsoft's lawsuit is aimed at striking down a law that prevents companies from telling customers about government data requests, reports Reuters.

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Apple joined a wide array of companies to support Microsoft, including Fox News, The Washington Post, BP, Delta Airlines, Google, Snapchat, Amazon, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Mozilla and more.

Microsoft filed its lawsuit against the Justice Department in April, saying that the government is using the authority of the 30-year-old Electronic Communications Privacy Act to prevent companies from informing customers when they hand over private data stored in the cloud. Microsoft argues that the government is violating the Fourth Amendment, which guarantees the right for people and businesses to know if the government is searching or seizing their property, and the company's First Amendment right to free speech, which it would use to inform customers.

The Department of Justice, which filed a motion to dismiss the suit in July, argues that the public has a "compelling interest in keeping criminal investigations confidential" and that Microsoft has no standing to bring on the case. It also contends that there are procedural safeguards to protect constitutional rights.

Apple has also been embroiled in a legal fight with the DoJ, asserting that the FBI's use of the All Writs Act to force Apple to unlock the iPhone used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Farouk is both unprecedented and dangerous. Microsoft was one of the many companies filing amicus briefs in support of Apple.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tag: privacy

Top Rated Comments

DakotaGuy Avatar
57 months ago
Here's a good example of private companies caring more about citizen's rights then the Government. I find it ironic that liberals always put all their faith in the Government to solve problems and discount private companies as being the problem. In many cases those companies are actually the ones looking out for the citizens.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macduke Avatar
57 months ago
Gotta love the fact that our government is so terrible that bitter corporate enemies are putting aside their differences to help each other out. And I'm not even talking about Apple/Microsoft or Apple/Google. You've got freaking Fox News and Apple fighting for the same cause. I mean honestly, how do you guys look at yourselves in the mirror every day? What do your wives, husbands and children think about what you do? Keep up the good work, Feds! You insufferable assho…

*CONNECTION TERMINATED*
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple Knowledge Navigator Avatar
57 months ago
But no Facebook? Aha!
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
4jasontv Avatar
57 months ago

Here's a good example of private companies caring more about citizen's rights then the Government. I find it ironic that liberals always put all their faith in the Government to solve problems and discount private companies as being the problem. In many cases those companies are actually the ones looking out for the citizens.

I mean, their motives aren't exactly pure, since they are undoubtably doing it because they think people won't trust them if they simply hand it over. I wouldn't build those pedestals to high or they might tip over when those patriotic companies start getting a little shifty.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Bawstun Avatar
57 months ago
Think it's more that the companies are caring about their bottom dollar - no one is going to use your software or app when word of them handing over your data to the DOJ gets out. Fighting this can *only* work in a company's favor.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TallGuyGT Avatar
57 months ago
This governmental overreach is pretty astounding. Let's trample on not one, but two amendments that make up the Bill of Rights. Good for Microsoft and the companies supporting them.

I support law enforcement and all they do to keep us safe. However, history has long shown us that power will be abused and there needs to be checks and balances.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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