A national manufacturing trade association is taking issue with the U.S. Department of Justice’s decision to appeal a lower court ruling that would allow extension of warrants outside the United States.
The “Microsoft vs. United States” case decided by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on July 14, 2016, found that a warrant issued under Section 2703 of the Stored Communications Act cannot compel American companies to produce data stored in servers outside the United States. Oral arguments were heard on Sept. 9, 2015. A three-judge panel ruled in favor of Microsoft — a decision the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) believes should have stood.
NAM Senior Vice President and General Counsel Linda Kelly said the organization was “disappointed that the U.S. Department of Justice has decided to appeal the Second Circuit’s decision in Microsoft v. U.S.” in a press release.
“We think the court correctly decided that U.S. law does not permit an extension of warrants outside the United States. Ultimately, Congress can and should act to modernize the governing statutes in this area, which are decades-old,” Kelly said, adding that law enforcement “should be able to access digital information in a timely manner and protect individual liberty at the same time.”
Kelly continued: “This is achievable through adopting a modern, 21st-century framework like the proposed bipartisan International Communications Privacy Act.”
The appeals process began under the Obama administration, but as of June 28, will move forward under President Donald Trump, whom NAM has widely praised for his “America First” manufacturing policies. While a candidate for president, Trump called for a boycott against Apple for refusing to unlock the San Bernardino shooter’s cellphone. However, he has not formally commented on the Microsoft vs. U.S. case.