Microsoft’s decision to not to comply with court’s ruling that calls for handing over foreign data to the US government has been found to be in contempt of court.
Earlier this month, Chief Judge Loretta Preska of the New York District Court had ordered Redmond to hand over users’ email data to the US officials after its request for appeal was rejected. However, Microsoft maintained its decision to not hand over the data, which is stored on a server in Dublin, Ireland, before appeal.
On Monday, Judge Preska filed an order, which held Microsoft in contempt for refusing to comply with the warrant. The judge, however, added that no sanctions would be imposed on Microsoft at this time, as both the government as well as the company have reached an agreement that no penalties would be imposed while the case is forwarded to an appeals court.
According to the court filings, while Microsoft continues to believe that a contempt order is not required to perfect an appeal, it agrees that the entry of an order of contempt would eliminate any jurisdictional issues on appeal. Thus, while reserving its rights to appeal any contempt order and the underlying 31 July ruling, Microsoft concurs with the Government that entry of such an order will avoid delays and facilitate a prompt appeal in this case.
Microsoft in a blog post on Monday said the US government has entered into many bilateral agreements establishing specific procedures for obtaining physical evidence in another country including a recently-updated agreement with Ireland and that it is of the opinion that the same procedures should apply in the online world.