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Google must give the Federal Bureau of Investigation emails stored in foreign servers, judge rules

Google, the ruling adds, had partially complied with the warrant by "by producing data that is within the scope of the warrants that it could confirm is stored on its servers located in the United States".

U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Rueter on Friday ordered Google to comply with the search warrants for emails stored outside of the United States.

Last July, a United States court concluded that Microsoft should not be forced to hand emails stored on a server in Dublin over to USA law enforcement, which wanted them as part of a narcotics case investigation. The order was made under the Stored Communications Act in relation to an FBI investigation into domestic fraud. The judge said this was because there was "no meaningful interference" with the account holder's "possessory interest" in the data sought.

Google has used Microsoft's case as an example to challenge the ruling by the magistrate and has stated that it will appeal against the decision and "push back on overbroad warrants".

In July past year, a court ruled in favour of Microsoft in a similar case.

The decision was met with approval from privacy enthusiasts, activists, and technology vendors alike, although in October, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) filed a petition to reopen the case, which was later rejected by a panel of judges in January 2017.

More news: Farage branded a liar in European Parliament as he defends Trump

While Google fragments email around the world for performance reasons, Microsoft place servers around the world specifically for reasons of data privacy and jurisdiction, meaning Irish emails for example are stored in Ireland and subject to Irish, not U.S. laws.

Microsoft's victory last July was welcomed with relief by technology and media companies, and both the American Civil Liberties Union and U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

"All users - whether consumer or business - of cloud services must now assume that access to their data will be requested by courts around the world at some point and, therefore, it is now vital for them to adopt and control their own safety measures", he said.

The warrants issued on both circumstance was under the 1986 Stored Communications Act, a federal law that many in the tech industry view as outdated.

Rueter ruling suggests Google received more than 25,000 requests annually from the U.S. authorities for the disclosure of user data related to criminal matters.

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