In July the US Supreme Court will come with a crucial decision in the protracted Microsoft Warrant Case. The American authorities demand access to an email stored on a Microsoft server in Ireland, to have proof in a criminal case. However, Microsoft refused to provide the email, because American jurisdiction does not extend to European territory, where strong data protection laws are in place. If non-EU countries would like to get access to information for police investigation, they need to address the competent authorities in the EU, in this case the Irish authorities, through mechanisms established by so-called “MLATs”: Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties. The US government does not want to pursue the information it seeks through these legal ways, and wants direct access to electronic evidence stored on foreign servers.
Because of the impact the Supreme Court decision may have on EU citizens' privacy, In 't Veld has submitted an "Amicus Brief" together with other colleagues. In this advice to the Supreme Court they emphasise that data privacy is a well-established fundamental right in the EU, and that the US must respect EU law by using the instruments provided by the MLATs.
Please find the full Amicus Brief here.