Google Must Submit Emails Stored In Foreign Servers To The FBI, US Judge Rules


A magistrate judge in Pennsylvania ruled Google must hand over data it holds on foreign servers to the FBI.

A U.S. judge reportedly ruled Friday that Google must comply with an FBI probe seeking access to emails stored on a foreign server.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Rueter handed down the ruling, ordering Google’s surrender of said emails. The move is inverse to that of a previous case that involved Microsoft, which, unlike Google, could not be forced to hand over emails stored on a server in Ireland, which was needed for a case involving narcotics.

Google Ordered To Surrender Emails Stored On A Foreign Server

In this new case, however, Judge Rueter of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled that the transfer of emails culled from a foreign server for FBI agents’s review didn’t qualify as a seizure, Reuters reports.

According to the judge, this was because there was no “meaningful interference” with the account holder’s “possessory interest” in the data being probed as part of a domestic fraud case. The judge noted that while Google’s retrieval of data from foreign servers might qualify as an act of privacy invasion, the actual infringement “occurs at the time of disclosure in the United States.”

The ruling, however, is not set in stone, as it has the potential to go against the precedent set last year as part of Microsoft’s case. The case and its upshot received significant fanfare by other tech companies, crusaders of privacy, and other institutions.

Via TechTimes