Electronic Privacy Communications Act Email privacy Fourth Amendment Supreme Court
Supreme Court to Review Two Cases on Communications Privacy
The Supreme Court has agreed to review United States v. Microsoft, a landmark case about whether the U.S. government can force email providers to turn over users’ private messages that are stored outside of the United States. The government claims that the Electronic Communications Privacy Act allows investigators to demand emails from all over the world, in violation of national privacy laws. A federal appeals court rejected the government’s arguments last year and ruled that Microsoft was not required to hand over emails that the company stores in Ireland. The Supreme Court has also agreed to review Dahda v. United States, a related case about whether the Fourth Amendment allows the government to use evidence obtained through an unlawful court order. Both cases are expected to be argued in early 2018. EPIC regularly files amicus briefs in privacy cases before the Supreme Court, including recently in Carpenter v. United States, Packingham v. North Carolina, and Utah v. Strieff.