(Seattle WA, Thursday, April 14, 2016) - Today at the U.S. District Court in Seattle, Microsoft filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government. The lawsuit seeks to stop broad and indefinite secrecy orders that block Microsoft from telling customers when the government requests their email and other content.
In the suit, Microsoft argues these secrecy orders violate Microsoftâ€™s First Amendment right to free speech because they stop the company from communicating with customers, and they violate customersâ€™ Fourth Amendment right from unreasonable search and seizure of their email.
Microsoft notes there are times when secrecy is appropriate, but provides data showing secrecy is over-used today and that in many cases secrecy is imposed permanently. When people and businesses are never informed of requests for their data, they lose the ability to stand up for their own rights.
This case marks the fourth public lawsuit that Microsoft has filed against the U.S. government related to customersâ€™ right to privacy and transparency, including the companyâ€™s pending litigation challenging a U.S. search warrant for customer emails in Ireland.
For more information, please read New Lawsuit to Increase Transparency of U.S. Data Requests, by Brad Smith, Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer.