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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

December 15, 2014 at 7:28 AM

Microsoft set to tout support in Ireland email warrant case

Microsoft this morning is going to broadcast the level of support it’s receiving in an email privacy court case. Literally.

The company’s general counsel, Brad Smith, is hosting a webcast event at Microsoft’s Times Square offices starting at 8 a.m. Pacific time. The panel, moderated by former ABC news anchor Charlie Gibson, is slated to feature other figures from trade and advocacy groups representing the tech industry, civil liberties and press freedoms.

The webcast will be accessible from Microsoft’s news site. Its worth keeping tabs on the site Microsoft rolled out as a sort of document depository for the case.  

Monday is the deadline for outside parties to weigh in on a court case in which Microsoft is resisting a warrant ordering the company to turn over contents of an email account stored in Ireland. (For the backstory on the case, see our story from Sunday’s paper on how the case evolved and Microsoft became one of the louder voices in the technology industry’s pushback against government’s reach into the internet.)

In a lower court, Microsoft was supported in so-called amicus briefs by rival Apple, as well Cisco, Verizon, AT&T and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Lawyers following the case expect those group to reiterate their support for Microsoft’s appeal.

As far as new support,the U.K. newspaper the Guardian said Sunday it would add its name to the roster of media groups filing in support of Microsoft. We’ll be watching to see how much of the rest of Big Tech will throw in their support. Notably for this case, which is focused on the government’s reach into remote servers, will cloud-computing juggernauts Amazon.com and Google weigh in?

In addition to Gibson and Microsoft’s Smith, the company has said the panel will also feature the following folks:

  • Andrew Pincus, partner at Mayer Brown
  • Victoria Espinel, president and chief executive officer of BSA | The Software Alliance
  • Nuala O’Connor, president and chief executive officer of the Center for Democracy & Technology
  • Faiza Patel, co-director of the Liberty & National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice
  • Bruce D. Brown, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

Comments | More in | Topics: brad smith, microsoft, privacy

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