US fights Microsoft's bid to tell users when feds take data

US fights Microsoft's bid to tell users when feds take data
This April 12, 2016 file photo shows the Microsoft logo in Issy-les-Moulineaux, outside Paris, France. The Justice Department is asking a federal judge to throw out a lawsuit filed by Microsoft that seeks to quash a law allowing the government to demand customer data stored electronically while prohibiting Microsoft from exposing the requests. A justice department lawyer told a federal judge Monday, Jan. 23, 2017, that the government has an interest in keeping criminal investigations confidential. He said Microsoft doesn't have the standing to argue for the Fourth Amendment rights for its customers. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)

The U.S. Justice Department wants a judge to throw out a lawsuit from Microsoft and keep a law that prohibits technology companies from telling customers when the government demands their electronic data.

Microsoft says its customers have a constitutional right to know when the government collects private information. The company says the law also violates its First Amendment right to speak with customers.

Microsoft says it gets about three requests every day and many don't have end dates. Companies such as Apple, Amazon and Twitter have written court briefs supporting the lawsuit.

A Justice Department lawyer said in court Monday that the government has an interest in keeping criminal investigations confidential. He said Microsoft doesn't have standing to argue for its customers' .

The judge says he'll rule later.

US fights Microsoft's bid to tell users when feds take data
In this Jan. 22, 2009, file photo, a man walks on the Microsoft headquarters campus in Redmond, Wash. The Justice Department is asking a federal judge to throw out a lawsuit filed by Microsoft that seeks to quash a law allowing the government to demand customer data stored electronically while prohibiting Microsoft from exposing the requests. A justice department lawyer told a federal judge Monday, Jan. 23, 2017, that the government has an interest in keeping criminal investigations confidential. He said Microsoft doesn't have the standing to argue for the Fourth Amendment rights for its customers. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

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Citation: US fights Microsoft's bid to tell users when feds take data (2017, January 23) retrieved 21 September 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-01-microsoft-users-feds.html
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