Supreme Court Decision to Hear U.S. v. Microsoft Creates Narrow Window For Much Needed Congressional Action

October 25, 2017

No matter how the case is decided, there are potential negative implications for U.S. competitiveness. If the court supports the use of search warrants to obtain data stored abroad, it will feed the perception that the best way to protect data from the prying eyes of the U.S. government is to store it abroad with a non-U.S. provider. On the other hand, if the court rules that search warrants cannot be used overseas, foreign governments may try to force companies to store data within their borders to make it impossible for U.S. officials to execute a search warrant. This also damages U.S. tech competitiveness because barriers to the free flow of information impede digital innovation.