AG's Call On Supreme Court To Review Data Shield Decision

Jul 31, 2017

Vermont’s Attorney General is leading a bipartisan coalition of  33 states supporting the Department of Justice’s request that the U.S. Supreme Court decide whether email service providers can shield evidence of a crime from law enforcement by storing data outside the United States.

An email provider who receives a warrant under the Stored Communications Act must disclose the requested data.  But when a federal judge issued a search warrant to Microsoft for the search of a specific Microsoft Outlook email account, the company refused.   Microsoft argued since the data was stored on a server in Ireland it would be impermissible to require the company to retrieve data from a foreign server, even though Microsoft could access that data from the United States.  

Vermont has filed a brief noting that internet providers are refusing to disclose data to the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force in cases involving the sexual exploitation of children even when the suspect, victims and alleged crimes occurred in Vermont.