The U.S. Supreme Court recently indicated that it will consider the federal government’s petition for a writ of certiorari in United States v. Microsoft Corp. at its conference scheduled for October 6, 2017. United States v. Microsoft is a “cutting edge” case that concerns the ability of law enforcement to obtain electronic documents stored abroad

On June 23, 2017, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court requesting reversal of a 2016 decision in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit quashed a warrant obtained by the Department of Justice (DOJ) under the Stored Communications Act (SCA) seeking the contents of a Microsoft customer’s emails.

In its July, 2016 decision in United States v. Microsoft Corp., a Second Circuit panel unanimously held that the DOJ’s attempt to procure the contents of the emails – which allegedly pertained to illegal drug trafficking – via an SCA warrant constituted an impermissible extraterritorial application of the SCA because the server on which the emails were stored was located in Ireland. The Second Circuit subsequently denied a request for an en banc rehearing in January, 2017 (see previous analysis of that denial here).
Continue Reading Solicitor General Urges Supreme Court Review of Second Circuit Microsoft Decision