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Media Cover Steptoe’s Advocacy for Verizon in Overseas Data Dispute

August 8, 2014

Steptoe’s advocacy for Verizon Communications in a dispute over data stored by US companies in overseas servers continues to generate media coverage.  On June 10, Verizon filed an amicus brief in New York federal court in support of Microsoft’s motion to vacate a search warrant seeking an individual’s e-mail content stored in Ireland.  Although a federal judge on July 31 rejected the bid by the service providers to quash a magistrate judge’s ruling that the government can use search warrants to obtain user data stored outside the United States, the companies say they are not giving up their fight.

Steptoe partner Michael Vatis, who authored the brief for Verizon, tells Politico that there is some concern among companies that if the US government prevails against Microsoft, other governments could make similar claims.

“I think all reputable companies would say they’re not averse to complying with lawful demands.  They just think there should be legal limits.  Otherwise we just have a free for all where we have governments trying to say they can access information no matter where it’s stored in the world so long as they serve an order on some business in their country.”

Coverage on the case can be read at the following media outlets: