April 3, 2018 / 8:11 PM / 6 months ago

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

WASHINGTON, April 3 (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.

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.

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.

"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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