Where does your vendor store your information? Whose laws apply?
“Justices to Hear Microsoft Case on Email Storage,” The Wall Street Journal, February 27, 2018 B4. Supreme Court to resolve whether a search warrant to a person in the US (Microsoft) can require that person to turn over materials of a non-US person stored outside this jurisdiction. At issue is the Stored Communications Act, passed in 1986, which gives some privacy protection to materials stored online.
This involves both questions of governance (does the US government get to control information stored in, say, France, if within the control of a party in the US? Even though France says the US can’t have it? Does the DOJ get to ignore laws passed by Congress?)) and questions of storage of information. Discovery rules in civil litigation go to things within your possession, custody, or control. Is there any doubt that Microsoft controls where this information is stored? Why would a search warrant be able to get less information than a litigant in a civil case? What happens if Microsoft wins? Who owns the information? Does ownership matter?
If the Court rules for Microsoft, is the issue back with Congress, to further define (or eliminate) our privacy rights?
Does the government need to obey our laws? Must Microsoft protect the rights of non-US citizens?