Microsoft will appear in a federal appeals court today to argue against the US government’s assertion that companies operating in the land of the free must hand over data stored in other countries when presented with a valid search warrant.

The case in question, which began two years ago, surrounds emails stored on Microsoft servers in Dublin, Ireland, which allegedly contain details of narcotics sales.

Irrespective of the morals and legality surrounding the claimed drug deals, Microsoft has continually argued that it cannot hand over data protected by Irish and European data protection laws.

Microsoft maintains that the US government’s approach would allow it to “violate the territorial integrity of sovereign nations”, while skirting “legal assistance treaties expressly designed to facilitate cross-border criminal investigations”.

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