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Microsoft sues US government to remove gag on data requests


Editor in Chief
Apple may have the eye of the US government when it comes to encryption, but Microsoft is taking aim at the Justice Department as well. Redmond is suing the government over the right to tell its customers when the authorities ask it to hand over data. In a complaint filed today in Seattle's US district court, the company says the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act is unconstitutional, not only violating its First Amendment rights, but also the Fourth Amendment's right to be notified when the government searches and/or seizes property.

Sure, Microsoft's lawsuit aims to protect civil liberties, but the company says it also wants to ensure it can continue to sell products that its customers can trust. The company argues that the government has placed it under an unlimited gag order, forcing it to refrain from informing customers when the authorities request emails and other information. And that the gag order violates the free speech protections of the First Amendment.

Microsoft says it understands there are times when secrecy is needed so that a suspect doesn't destroy evidence or further jeopardize an investigation. However...

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