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We Proudly Support Microsoft In Their Suit Against The U.S. Department of Justice

September 2, 2016 - Providence, RI: The Information Coalition was proud to join with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Google, Amazon, Apple, and many others in supporting Microsoft in their challenge to the United States Justice Department.

At stake are the ongoing invasions of privacy by the United States Government into various cloud providers, Microsoft included. Microsoft has sued the Justice Department in protest of forced gag order statutes. These gap orders pose a threat to the dominance of cloud providers based in the United States and to the information profession. As such, we were proud to sign onto the Amicus Brief from the United States Chamber of Commerce in representing the best interests of all companies in our profession and space, as well as the best interests of consumers of U.S. based technology.

The United States' government's insistence on accessing customer data and forcing technology companies silence is of grave concern from both privacy and commerce perspectives.

We echo Bradford L. Smith, president and chief legal officer for Microsoft when he asserts that people “should not lose their rights just because they are storing their information in the cloud.”

While we support the U.S. Government's efforts in thwarting cybercrime and terrorism, we believe that the government’s use of a provision of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 — which prevents Microsoft from notifying customers when their communications have been turned over to law enforcement - is both unconstitutional and potentially damaging the United States technology sector.

We are proud to stand with Microsoft in this case and continue our advocacy work on behalf of our profession through the generous support of our sponsors and underwriters.

Additional reading:
15 April, 2016: Microsoft Sues U.S. Over Barring It From Revealing Surveillance (New York Times)
03 September, 2016: Microsoft Challenge To Government Secrecy Wins Dozens Of Supporters (New York Times)