Saturday, April 16, 2016

Computer technology company Microsoft has brought a legal case against the U.S. government.Microsoft says a law that permits agencies to demand to read emails or online files without their owners knowledge violates the Constitution.The Reuters news agency reports that the company believes the government’s actions violate the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. That amendment bans“unreasonable searches and seizures.”Reuters also reports that Microsoft says the law violates the company’s First Amendment right to free speech.The law in question is the Electronics Communications Privacy Act of 1986. It permits government investigators to examine emails and other electronic files without telling the owners of the documents. In Most cases, a judge must give the investigators permission to do so. Microsoft says the law was written before distant computer data storage centers, known as the cloud,were developed.Microsoft is a major operator of cloud storage for computers. It says the government is using the new technology to increase its power.Microsoft says it received more than 5,600 federal demands for access to files between September 2014 and March 2015. It says more than half of the requests did not permit the company to tell the owners of the files that their information was being read.

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