In a legal battle that has brought an all-important question about privacy to the forefront, Microsoft has procured another win against the US government courtesy of the US Court of Appeals.
Microsoft has become one of the US government's most vocal critics of how it issues search warrants for data.
The ruling helps ensure that US law enforcement can not issue search warrants for data stored overseas. The orders prevented Microsoft to tell its customers about warrants and other legal process which involved its customers data.
Microsoft moved to vacate the warrant for the content held overseas on 18 December 2013.
Microsoft seems to agree.
Neither Microsoft nor the DOJ was immediately available for comment.
The company had previously won an appeal in the case back in July 2016, overturning a previous verdict from August 2014.
A US appeals court will not reconsider its groundbreaking decision denying Department of Justice efforts to force Microsoft to turn over customer emails stored outside the country. Some dissenting opinions from judges pointed out that the ruling could hamper law enforcement investigations in the future.
"The panel majority's decision does not serve any serious, legitimate, or substantial privacy interest". "We need Congress to modernize the law both to keep people safe and ensure that governments everywhere respect each other's borders".
Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft handed over account information it kept on U.S. soil, but said the content of emails was off-limits because it was stored on servers in Ireland. The government complained this was slow and cumbersome, though Ireland's government earlier offered to speed up evaluation of any request that the United States government would make in this case.
In its filing, Apple said it received more than 1,000 secret warrants from law enforcement agencies for iCloud data during the last six months of 2015.
If the US Government prevailed in its insistence that it has jurisdiction over any data held overseas by an American company it would have a damaging effect on the business of cloud service companies such as Microsoft and Google, who may be shut out of markets such as the European Union with tight privacy laws.
Fast forward to today and the case is still being wrestled over as the Department of Justice seeks to have the case thrown out.