Photo Credit: AlamyPrivate information stored online by British computer users could be scrutinised by American law enforcement agencies under a wide-ranging new right-to-snoop being pursued by the US government.
Federal authorities in the US are using the courts to try to force American-owned technology companies to disclose emails and other data held in the “Cloud” – the vast network of servers where data is stored for customers.
The claim would require companies such as Microsoft, Apple and Google to open up all their electronic records to agencies – such as the CIA, the NSA and the FBI – even if it is stored in Europe rather than on US soil.
A New York court this month ordered Microsoft to hand over to US prosecutors the emails of a European customer stored on its servers in Ireland, as part of a drugs trafficking investigation.
Loretta Preska, the judge, ruled that the technology giant must comply with the US warrant because the company is American, even though it could be breaking Irish and EU law if it did so.
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