This past Thursday, April 15, tech giant Microsoft filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice, citing that the government’s seizing of user’s data without them knowing is unconstitutional. This comes fresh off Apple’s battle with the FBI after the iCompany refused to unlock a phone that belonged to a known terrorist.
According to a report by CNN, federal judges have approved around 2,600 secret searches of Microsoft users. And in most of those cases, users are never informed as this judicial orders never expire.
Microsoft is especially targeting a decades old law called the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. In a nutshell, this act gives permission for law enforcement to rummage around data without the user’s knowledge. In the real world, law enforcements would have to obtain a warrant before searching a person’s property.
Those on the law enforcement side argue that this law is beneficial to them because it doesn’t tip off a potential suspect that the cops are on to them. However, they often never disclose that an investigation was conducted even after the fact.
This suit is expected to take years to complete, mainly because the laws hasn’t caught up to technology. In the meantime, users should continue using their computers with the knowledge that the government may or may not be watching them.