Microsoft Sues Government Over Peeping To Individual’s Information Abusing Decades Old Law

By Staff Writer

Apr 15, 2016 07:39 AM EDT

Microsoft Corp., has sued the US Department of Justice on Thursday for the right to inform its customers regarding peeping to the email accounts by the federal agents. The lawsuit is believed to intensify the ongoing battle over privacy and copy right between the tech companies and the regulators.

The Thursday's suit throws a fundamental question regarding ease and secrecy to be enjoyed by the government agencies while accessing to individual's account. A person must be informed about searching his home or hard drive by investigators, the critics argue. But investigators allegedly keep their searching information secret in a number of cases, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Microsoft's filing however, highlights another high-profile confrontation between the government agencies and Apple Inc. The Department of Justice has demanded Apple to bypass the security password of a terrorist iPhone during February.

The agency has finally abandoned the efforts following cracking the iPhone with the aid of a third party. Notably mentioning, the legal battle is still continuing in the federal court.

The lawsuit accuses the US government for contravening the Fourth Amendment upholding the right for people and businesses to get informed about search or property seizure.  Such acts by the government agencies also violate Microsoft's First Amendment related to right for free speech. The Department of Justice is reviewing the filing, informs Reuters quoting Emily Pierce, spokeswoman for the department.

Consumers and businesses are righteous to get informed about the government intervention to their emails or records, believes Microsoft. However, the US government agencies have been practicing regularly through asking for maintaining secrecy about the legal demand. Microsoft believes, this practice has gone too far and hence seeks court intervention to address the situation, reports BBC quoting Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer for the tech giant.

However, Microsoft acknowledges the necessity to keep the peeping information secret in a view to keep people safe or prevent evidence from being destroyed. Mr. Smith also observes that the issuance of secrecy orders has become a regular routine for the investigators.

Microsoft's lawsuit eventually challenges some provisions of Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). The law is 30-year-old and several tech firms consider it outdated for its failure to prevent abuse. Microsoft expects insertion of reasonable provisions to the act allowing the tech giant to inform more customers about action related to their data.

Investigators may sometime require keeping their search information secret for the sake of ongoing probe and greater public interest. But the US investigators are issuing secret orders, which have become regular practice now a day. Considering the situation, Microsoft has sued the US government on Thursday to turn an end to such secret intervention by the investigators using legal loopholes. 

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