Why the Global Digital Privacy case means cash is more important than ever

Feb 28, 2018


On Tuesday, the US Supreme Court listened to arguments on the crucial Global Digital Privacy case: Should U.S. officials be able to force companies like 'Microsoft to hand over emails stored in a data center in Ireland'?

According to CNNTech, Microsoft (MSFT) argues it should not hand over data stored internationally, and that Congress should make the final ruling. But this begs the question if it's the access to email accounts belonging to people around the world that is being discussed, why is only one country taken into account?

“If customers do not want their e-mails to be seized by the government, they don’t use Microsoft’s services,” Joshua Rosenkranz (lawyer for Microsoft).

Consider what either ruling could mean in a cashless society.

The right to privacy and freedom of movement should always be protected for the sake of the law-abiding people's freedoms. This is why public support for the right to keep cash must be voiced worldwide, now more than ever. The decision is expected by mid-2018.

The Justice Department argued that not granting US officers this power impedes criminal investigations. But is this another case of policymakers gambling away the privacy rights of law-abiding people with an empty promise of stopping crime? 

Excerpt from Politico article

The case — more than five years in the making — pits the U.S. government's demands for the right to obtain digital data held anywhere in the world against privacy campaigners’ push for limits on that access. It also comes as the U.S. and European Union remain at loggerheads over how to handle people’s sensitive digital information, everything from search queries to corporate payroll data.

“In today’s world of email and cloud computing, where data is stored across the globe, law enforcement and tech companies find themselves encumbered by conflicting data disclosure and privacy laws,"
"Sen. Orrin HatchUnited States SenatorAs quoted by Politico

Lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic are pushing for new laws to determine when governments can gain access to such data — often stored remotely in data centers worldwide by the likes of Google, Amazon and Microsoft — while protecting the privacy of sensitive information.

Excerpt from Reuters article

Microsoft, which has 100 data centers in 40 countries, was the first American company to challenge a domestic search warrant seeking data held outside the United States. The Microsoft customer whose emails were sought told the company he was based in Ireland when he signed up for his account.

Other companies including IBM Corp, Amazon.com Inc, Apple Inc, Verizon Communications Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google filed court papers backing Microsoft. Several foreign governments, including Ireland and Britain, filed court papers raising concerns about the U.S. government’s position.


Read full Politico article here

Read full CNNTech article here

Read full Reuters article here


Scott, Mark and Ashley Gold. 'Supreme Court to hear arguments in global digital privacy case.' Politico. Electronically published February 26, 2018. Accessed February 28, 2018. 

Larson, Selena and Lydia DePillis. 'Microsoft argues data privacy case is one for Congress to decide.' CNNTech. Electronically published February 27, 2018. Accessed February 28, 2018.  

Hurley, Lawrence and Dustin Volz.'U.S. Supreme Court wrestles with Microsoft data privacy fight.' Reuters. Electronically published February 27, 2018. accessed February 28, 2018. 


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Last Updated: May 12, 2018