A US judge in a Friday ruling has lifted a stay on the previous ruling that required Microsoft to handover customer’s email details stored overseas to US prosecutors.
US District Court’s Chief Judge Loretta Preska had earlier on July 31 sustained a magistrate judge’s ruling on the emails held in data server in Ireland.
Microsoft has been continuously putting efforts to prove its customers that it does not allow the US government to access users’ personal data on its servers in the wake of revelations made by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.
Preska had delayed government search warrant’s enforcement to let Microsoft to appeal.
Prosecutors, however, said that there was no legal reason to enforce the stay any longer as the judge’s order was not a “final, appealable order” and as because the Redmond had yet to be held in contempt.
Preska said her order “merely confirmed the government’s temporary forbearing of its right to stay enforcement of the order it secured.”
She added that “the fact the court has not closed this case against Microsoft’s argument” that her order was final and appealable.
The judge has ordered both sides to advise on how to proceed by September 5.
The Redmond in response said it is not ready to comply with the judge’s ruling and it is still pending attempts to overturn it.
A Microsoft spokesperson told Reuters that “Microsoft will not be turning over the email and plans to appeal.”
“Everyone agrees this case can and will proceed to the appeals court. This is simply about finding the appropriate procedure for that to happen.”
The entire matter has drawn great concern from global technology companies, fearful of losing foreign customers and revenue in case US law enforcement agencies are allotted power to seize users’ personal data.