Microsoft's Victory Against the US Government

Microsoft's Victory Against the US Government

Jamie Moles

Principle Security Consultant at Lastlin

Views 281

Microsoft's Victory Against the US Government

15.07.2016 08:45 am

This is a common-sense ruling overriding the lower courts mistaken judgement that the USA court system had supremacy over all other countries sovereignty and judicial systems.    The effect internationally had this ruling been upheld would have been a massive chilling of relations with American businesses across the globe and the American Judiciary would have been lining itself up for a significant fight with the European Union over data privacy laws.

Additionally it would likely have meant significant corporate re-structuring  as American owned businesses would have rushed to change their corporate structures so that their European subsidiaries ownership was moved to non-USA parentage.  

This can be a bit complex, but as a theoretical example:

Microsoft could have restructured by creating a new holding company that was based somewhere like Cayman Islands (or some other corporate haven) and changed their structure so that ownership of the European subsidiaries was moved to the holding company instead of Microsoft Corporation.   If they then moved Microsoft Corporation under this holding structure too it is feasible that the USA judiciary would then have their demands to access data frustrated because they have no jurisdiction over the holding company and Microsoft Corporation has no ownership of either the holding company or the European subsidiaries – so cannot be compelled to produce the data in court.

This is all moot now as the ruling has been changed,  but would have made for interesting times had it been upheld.

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