I was just reading an article in Windows Secrets about an ongoing case where Microsoft, of all companies, is working for US citizens and against the government. Most people are unaware of the case and its implications. Here is a link to the story in Windows Secrets, but the gist is that the US government has asked Microsoft to turn over a Hotmail user’s emails to the Justice Department. However, the emails are on an Irish server so Microsoft has refused to comply and has appealed the case.
Why should you care? Because the US government has already made it clear that non-US citizens have no rights when it comes to data privacy, and therefore, by extension, US citizens have no right to data privacy when it comes to other countries demanding data. The example goes that if you have documents in a Deutsche Bank vault in New York, the German police have a right to see those documents without asking you or the US government for permission.
The European Union has very strict data privacy laws while the US has only outdated and government-friendly regulation. If Microsoft loses this case and is forced to turn over data stored outside the US, you can expect any shred of privacy you might have thought you had to be stripped away. And at this point, despite support from most large tech companies, Microsoft is losing the case against the government, which wants control at all costs.
So, for a change, I’m supporting Microsoft in its efforts to protect online privacy — and you should, too! Please follow the links in the Windows Secrets article to contact your senators and congresspeople and support Net Neutrality. You’ll be glad you did.