Microsoft has been issued with a new order to hand over data relating to an overseas user of its overseas cloud service to US authorities. However, Microsoft has already said it will refuse to do so.
US Judge Loretta Preska issued the updated order having originally put a freeze on the warrant while Microsoft appealed the ruling she handed down earlier in the summer. However, she has now overturned this decision.
Microsoft and the US government have until 5 September to inform the court of how they intend to continue the case. Microsoft, though, has already made it clear that it will not hand over data while its appeal is still pending.
"Microsoft will not be turning over the email and plans to appeal,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Reuters. "Everyone agrees this case can and will proceed to the appeals court. This is simply about finding the appropriate procedure for that to happen."
Microsoft would find itself in contempt of court if it refuses to hand over the data, as it makes a stand against the court order in order to try and protect customer data.
The case could have serious repercussions for the cloud market as it would effectively render any efforts by US cloud providers to assure customers data is safe from the prying eyes of the US government are meaningless.
Rivals to Microsoft such as Apple and Cisco have added their backing to Microsoft's case, but at present this has had little effect, as the government continues to win key arguments in the legal case.
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