What is wrong with the usa to think it's law can rule other countries?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Dranix, Apr 28, 2014.

  1. Dranix, Apr 28, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014

    Dranix macrumors 6502a

    Dranix

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    #1
    So the usa think it's law stands above foreign laws? Has the usa any decency left or have you gone all insane over there?

    Sorry but I often have the gut feeling many americans don't understand that the us law ends at their borders. Apparently even your law and judges have a problem understanding such simple facts 8(

    http://www.nysd.uscourts.gov/cases/show.php?db=special&id=398

    Summary: Microsoft has to hand over mails stored on a server located in Ireland to the us law enforcement.
     
  2. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #2
    I can't give you a blanket answer for that, but I'd argue many countries believe their laws take preference over another countries' laws.
     
  3. iBlazed macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

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    #3
    Maybe you should summarize what you're ranting about so we don't have to read a 27 page legal document. Because I can assure you very few if any people will take the time to read that.
     
  4. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    #4
    It is a complicated issue. But I think its a distortion to suggest the US Government is ignoring the sovereignty of other nations.

    In legal terms a search warrant for e-mail or other electronic data is actually more like a subpoena (ie. a writ compelling a party to produce documents or testimony) rather than what we normally think of as a "Search Warrant."

    If the Search Warrant, in this case, permitted US law enforcement officers to physically poking around a server farm located in Dublin, then I think the Irish Government would rightly object to a violation of their national sovereignty.

    But thats not the case here. The Government doesn't want the actual physical data (ie. the hard disk, electronic tapes, or charged particles that make it up) - they actually only want a copy of that data.

    Subpoenas, when applied to multinational corporations, have for a long time required the recipient to produce the documents (or facsimile copies) wherever they may have been physically stored. In a civil case, for instance, a corporation being sued over a defective product cannot warehouse its engineering drawings in Mexico or Canada and claim that it is immune from complying with a subpoena for their production.

    There are many other issues at stake here also. Among them is the fact that Microsoft does not verify the data provided by a customer when registering a product. It simply assigns the location the data is stored to a server physically closest to where the registering customer claims he is resident. If you say that you live in Ireland, Microsoft will store your data there - but it doesn't have a system in place to verify what you say is true. Leaving a gaping loophole for international criminals to hide evidence of their misdeeds if the Government were unable to access that data.
     
  5. Dranix thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dranix

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    #5
    No there is a heavy bug in your thinking and that is european data protection laws - it's a crime what the judges want here. The judge is factual forcing Microsoft to commit a crime in Ireland.

    There are very hard rules to when, by who and how data can be used. And us agencies are definitely not on the list. But there is a way to get the data for us agencies: ask interpol for it and after checking the situation with local laws the data perhaps can be handed over.
     
  6. Michael Goff macrumors G3

    Michael Goff

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    #6
    Really? You have to make a ridiculous snipe?
     
  7. Dranix thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dranix

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    #7
    What would you say if an irish judge would force a company to commit a crime in the usa?
     
  8. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #8
    Sounds like you're wanting to split hairs in this case. Okay, I'm game.

    You're arguing that national sovereignty has been violated, because you are arguing hat the data exists in a foreign land.

    However, it could be argued that the company owns the data. And since Microsoft is a US-based company, it still has to comply with not only US law, but also the law of that foreign nation. If Microsoft is being subpoenaed for that data, they would have to comply, whether it is US law asking for it, or in the case of the foreign land, Irish law.

    Either way, they would have to comply. BTW: Ever notice how a US-based airline that flies internationally still must conform to US law even when the flight lands in a foreign land? It is because while over international land or water, they are still a US flight from a US company, where US law still holds sway.

    BL.
     
  9. Dranix thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dranix

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    #9
    And here is the problem. In Europe the company *doesn't* own the personal data. The user owns it.
     
  10. xShane macrumors 6502a

    xShane

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    #10
    I'd be willing to bet that's the main reason this is happening. Microsoft is a US-based company.

    That's one of the problems -- at least here in the United States, anyhow. Generally, when you sign up for these websites such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft (i.e. email, etc.), etc. you are agreeing to their terms of service and privacy policy. Essentially, you don't own your account, they own your account, and you just have a license to use it.

    --

    All in all, I do agree that the United States has a lot to learn from European privacy laws (and other regulations and laws in general). I almost feel that if I were a citizen of the EU, I'd have more protections and freedom.
     
  11. Michael Goff macrumors G3

    Michael Goff

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    #11
    A) I don't really think the US Judge can really force anything. They can ask. Whether or not Ireland agrees is up to them. They're not going to get invaded, sanctioned, or so forth for telling Microsoft no (to my knowledge).
    B) That still has no relevance on you randomly insulting most of the people within a country.
     
  12. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    #12
    I agree. America seems to come across as egotistical and appears to assume control over everything. We never had this problem back in the days of the Empire. :p
     
  13. elistan macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    The US is asking Microsoft to break an Ireland law.
    Similarly, Ireland is asking Microsoft to break a US law. (Rather, contempt of court.)

    The US judge doesn't care where the data is housed - could be on the Moon or Mars for all he cares. Doesn't change the fact that Microsoft is still subject to US laws and US court orders.

    Basically, MS is between a rock and a hard place because it seems to be one entity operating in two conflicting jurisdictions. It needs to choose which master to serve, and which to get a beating from.

    Nothing wrong with either what the judge or Ireland is asking MS for. What's wrong is, apparently, MS had agreed to abide by conflicting rules.

    I'm no lawyer, but I think that's why companies form independent sub-corps to operate in different countries. For example, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. in Japan, and American Honda Motor Company, Inc. in the US.

    (Although, for all I know MS is already set up that way, and will tell the judge "We can't produce that data because we don't own that data, might as well ask us for Toyota's data.")
     
  14. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #14
    And where is Microsoft based? Last I checked, Redmond, Washington, United States of America.

    Hence, US-based company. US company owns/maintains the data as it is on their servers. US law could/would apply.

    BL.
     
  15. Dranix thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dranix

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    #15
    Aehm, no. It's impossible to circumvent data protection laws in the eu by an eula.
     
  16. zin macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Ireland is in the EU. It is against EU Law (and subsequently Irish Law since that is how EU Law is implemented in Ireland) for any member state to allow the transfer of user data to countries not affording adequate protection.

    I'm not a lawyer, but I don't think handing user data over to a foreign Government satisfies the need for "adequate" protection of such data. Microsoft is a U.S. company so U.S. law may apply to its U.S. operations, but Microsoft is also obligated to respect local laws.

    In short, a sticky situation for Microsoft. If they hand over the data then they may get a knock on the door from EU regulators, and I'm sure they don't want that given that they already have a bad history with EU Antitrust regulators on a separate case.
     
  17. bigeasy_uk macrumors 6502

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  18. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    #18
    Going to suck for users in the rest of the world if Google, Apple, Microsoft start keeping all user data in the US (instead of a geo-location more close to the user) as to not have to deal with this issue.
     
  19. zin macrumors 6502

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    #19
    Actually, EU Data Protection Directives assert jurisdiction over this case also if EU citizens' data are involved. Read up on it if you don't believe me.

    The EU declares that EU citizens' data are "processed" under EU Law even if the servers are outside of the EU. The Commissioner responsible for this area, Viviane Reding, has publicly said that it isn't acceptable for a foreign company operating in Europe to avoid EU Data Protection Law simply by using the excuse that the server is located outside of the EU.
     
  20. elistan macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Sounds like the judge isn't talking to Microsoft Ireland.

    From the court doc:
    It remains to be seen whether the premise is actually owned, maintained, controlled or operated by Microsoft Corporation, or some other corporation.
     
  21. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    #21
    So in that sense, EU law can rule other countries?
     
  22. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #22
    That's what I said.

    This may all come down to the EULA and how it is worded, and how Microsoft uses the data that it has. If that person's data ends up anywhere outside of their home country, Irish/EU law may be irrelevant.

    BL.
     
  23. bigeasy_uk macrumors 6502

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    #23
    But the judge is asking Microsoft USA for Microsoft Irelands data, legally they are different entities.

    It's like a UK judge asking me for my dads data. (my dad lives in Egypt so a fairly decent analogy)
     
  24. elistan macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    If that's the case, I don't see much issue with MS USA simply saying, "Sorry, we have no further data of this user stored at premises owned, maintained, controlled, or operated by us. *shrug* Talk to this other company, over here..."
     
  25. zin macrumors 6502

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    #25
    No. The EU Law rules over foreign companies doing business with EU citizens' data. If the company has no business with EU citizens and their data then the directive has no jurisdiction.
     

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