April 3, 2018 / 8:26 PM / 19 days ago

Microsoft calls for dismissal of U.S. Supreme Court privacy fight

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp on Tuesday backed the Justice Department’s request that the U.S. Supreme Court dismiss a case pitting the two against each other over whether prosecutors can force technology companies to hand over data stored overseas after Congress passed a law that resolved the dispute.

FILE PHOTO: An advertisement is played on a set of large screens at the Microsoft office in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., on January 25, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

The justices heard arguments in the high-profile case on Feb. 27, but President Donald Trump on March 22 signed legislation that makes clear that U.S. judges can issue warrants for such data while giving companies a way to object if the request conflicts with foreign law. [nL2N1QH0PU]

In a filing with the Supreme Court, Microsoft said it would not oppose the Justice Department’s bid to dismiss the case, filed last Friday, because the matter was now moot. [nL1N1RE011]

“Microsoft agrees with the government that there is no longer a live case or controversy between the parties with respect to the question presented,” the company’s lawyers said in the filing.

Microsoft and the Justice Department had been locked in a dispute over how U.S. prosecutors seek access to data held on overseas computer servers owned by U.S. companies. The case involved Microsoft’s challenge to a domestic warrant issued by a U.S. judge for emails stored on a Microsoft server in Dublin relating to a drug-trafficking investigation.

In its court filing, the Justice Department said it has obtained a new warrant that would be governed by the new law.

Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham

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