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April 17 2018

Microsoft's case declared moot by Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday dropped Microsoft Corp’s (MSFT.O) privacy fight with the Justice Department over whether prosecutors can force technology companies to hand over data stored overseas after Congress passed legislation that resolved the dispute.

The justices heard arguments in the high-profile case on Feb. 27, but President Donald Trump on March 22 signed legislation into law that makes clear that U.S. judges can issue warrants for such data while giving companies an avenue to object if the request conflicts with foreign law.

“No live dispute remains between the parties over the issue,” the court said in an unsigned opinion, declaring the case moot.

Microsoft and the Justice Department had been locked in a dispute over how U.S. prosecutors seek access to data held on overseas computer servers owned by U.S. companies. The case involved Microsoft’s challenge to a domestic warrant issued by a U.S. judge for emails stored on a Microsoft server in Dublin relating to a drug-trafficking investigation.