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Cloud Computing

17 October 2017

U.S. Supreme Court to Weigh in on Extraterritorial Search Warrant Dispute

On October 16, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the U.S. government’s request for review of a lower court decision that rejected the government’s construction of the Stored Communications Act (SCA) and embraced a more restrictive view that Microsoft had advanced, backed by much of the tech industry and many privacy groups. (more…)

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08 August 2016

Second Circuit Microsoft Ruling: A Plea for Congressional Action

*This article originally appeared in Law360 on August 1, 2016.

On July 14, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a long-awaited decision that — to the surprise of many observers — rejected the government’s construction of the Stored Communications Act and instead embraced a more restrictive view that Microsoft Corp. had advanced, backed by much of the tech industry and many privacy groups. The decision holds that electronic communications that are stored exclusively on foreign servers cannot be reached by U.S. prosecutors under the SCA’s warrant provisions — not even where the warrant is served on a U.S. provider that can access the foreign-stored information, and deliver it to U.S. officials, entirely by using computers and personnel based here in the United States. Microsoft Corp. v. USA, In the Matter of a Warrant to Search a Certain E‐Mail Account Controlled and Maintained by Microsoft Corporation (2d Cir. July 14, 2016)( Docket No. 14‐2985).

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26 July 2016

Second Circuit Sides With Microsoft; Data Exclusively Stored On Foreign Servers Not Subject to SCA Search Warrant

On July 14, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a long-awaited decision that—to the surprise of many observers—rejected the government’s construction of the Stored Communications Act (SCA) and instead embraced a more restrictive view that Microsoft had advanced, backed by much of the tech industry and many privacy groups.  Microsoft Corp. v USA, In the Matter of a Warrant to Search a Certain E‐Mail Account Controlled and Maintained by Microsoft Corporation (2d Cir. July 14, 2016)( Docket No. 14‐2985).  (Sidley Austin LLP represented a number of amici in support of Microsoft before the Court of Appeals and District Court.) The decision holds that electronic communications that are stored exclusively on foreign servers cannot be reached by U.S. prosecutors under the SCA’s warrant provisions—not even where the warrant is served on a U.S. provider that can access the foreign-stored information, and deliver it to U.S. officials, by using computers and personnel based here in the United States.

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19 November 2015

The Opportunities and the Challenges of Big Data for Business and Public Policy*

*Based on Remarks at the Big Data East Big Data Innovation Conference, September 9, 2015

I believe in the enormous potential of big data. Erik Brynolfsson and Andrew McAfee, authors of The New Machine Age and leading scholars of the digital economy, have compared the power and granularity of computational science to the transformation in understanding of nature that occurred when Anton Van Leuwenhook first peered at samples through his newly-invented microscope. We are seeing new advances in medicine, in social science, new ways of teasing out causation from correlation.

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01 September 2015

Update on Impending Russian Data Localization Law

Despite having previously stated it would not issue further clarifications, in August 2015, the Russian Ministry of Communications and Mass Media (Minkomsvyaz) issued a further statement regarding the data localization law.  The Ministry of Communications is empowered to supervise the data protection authority (Roskomnadzor) and to provide interpretations of laws that fall within their purview (including the data localization law).  The Minkomsvyaz statement reiterated that the law does not have retroactive effect – personal data of Russians collected prior to September 1, 2015 may reside in foreign jurisdiction so long as they are not updated or changed, at which point they would be subject to the localization requirement.  The clarification further noted that data localization requirement would not apply to entities that are not resident in Russia.  This statement is notable for being issued in writing, and providing companies with a statement of standards and expectations that may be cited by companies should issues arise.

See previous coverage in Data Matters July 21, 2015 Post: Impending Russian Data Localization Law

Sidley does not practice law in Russia, so the information here is based on our understandings from public sources and discussions with local counsel. This article should not be construed as advice about Russian law.

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21 July 2015

The Impending Russian Data Localization Law

We are rapidly approaching the effective date for the so-called Russian “data localization law,” a development that prompted considerable backlash from the global business community and could have significant consequences for entities operating in the Russian market.  In July 2014, Russia adopted Federal Law No. 242-FZ, which in effect requires that information a company holds pertaining to Russians must be stored on servers physically located within Russia.  These obligations apply to individuals in their capacity as employees as well as consumers; thereby impacting even companies that do not maintain brick-and-mortar operations in Russia.

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30 December 2013

Heads Up for Privacy, Data Protection and Cybersecurity in 2014

The new year will ring in significant privacy, data protection and cybersecurity changes in the U.S., Europe, Asia and elsewhere around the world. Below are some key developments and possible concrete action items for General Counsels, Chief Privacy Officers and Chief Information Officers:

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