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Comment: Re:It's almost sane(really) (Score 1) 502

by Joel Cahoon (#47583531) Attached to: Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers

The EU has laws protecting the data of it's citizens. By complying with US law, and allowing the data to be handed over to US authorities, they will be in violation of the EU laws! This puts MS (and every other American tech company) in a VERY awkward position! Do they break US law or EU law? Either way, they will be breaking SOMEONE'S laws, whether they hand over the data or not!

I know, right? Poor Microsoft, they're just trying to operate a giant multinational corporation in peace...they can't be expected to comply with ALL the laws, now can they? How were they to know they might be putting themselves in an awkward position straddling jurisdictions? I mean, give them a break!

Comment: Re:It's almost sane(really) (Score 3, Insightful) 502

by Joel Cahoon (#47583457) Attached to: Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers
If someone physically in Russia (or China, Iran, Pakistan, Myanmar or North Korea) allegedly violates the laws of their country, and the evidence of such resides on a server in the U.S., then no, I have no problem with, nor control over, said country imposing punishment on that person if they refuse to produce this evidence when lawfully required. My opinion on the laws of another state are irrelevant in this matter, if I am to respect their sovereignty. And if I don't respect their sovereignty, this issue is of least concern.

Comment: Sensational journalism (Score 1) 502

by Joel Cahoon (#47583305) Attached to: Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers
This was previously discussed ad nauseam; Microsoft has simply lost another appeal. To reiterate:

If the warrant had been a conventional search warrant Microsoft could have been right since there are territorial restrictions on those warrants, [magistrate judge James Francis of the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York] said.

However, a search warrant on electronic communications is not conventional but rather a hybrid: part search warrant and part subpoena, he said.

“It is executed like a subpoena in that it is served on the ISP in possession of the information and does not involve government agents entering the premises of the ISP to search its servers and seize the email account in question,” he said.

...

Moreover, if treated like a conventional warrant, “the burden on the government would be substantial, and law enforcement efforts would be seriously impeded,” Francis said. To obtain the contents of emails stored abroad, U.S. law enforcement would have to comply with treaties that require the cooperation of two governments. Such requests could be time consuming or even denied, Francis said, adding that the U.S. does not have such treaties with all countries.

Source: PCworld

To move data across jurisdictions is trivial. If it were made this easy to stymie law enforcement whenever the evidence in question is electronic data, we'd end up with much bigger problems. They should at least have to go through the trouble of setting up a shell company...

The one valid concern I've seen raised regarding this issue (which I have not seen raised in this specific case) is when such a warrant would be at odds with data privacy laws in the other jurisdiction; this is a lose-lose situation for the party on whom the warrant is served. I'd feel bad for them, but it was their choice to operate across jurisdictions in the firs place, and their responsibility to be in compliance with all parties; if that's not possible, and they choose to operate anyway, I don't pity them at all.

Comment: Re:laying off...but needs more H-1B's (Score 1) 282

Sometimes, "what's best for Microsoft" may not be so immediately obvious. I have no doubt that someone far more skilled and knowledgeable than I ran the numbers and decided that their plans to "right-size our manufacturing operations to align to the new strategy and take advantage of integration opportunities" makes good business and financial sense in the near future. Long term is quite a bit more difficult to predict with any certainty (which makes such sweeping actions inherently risky). Even harder to forecast (or even quantify) are the intangibles, such as: the effect upon the corporate image held by employees, former employees, customers and potential customers, communities, governments, regulators, competitors, and the impact of that effect; the direct and indirect impact on the market itself, both present and future; and of course, the risks of untended consequences.

Perhaps this wasn't covered in business 101? I wouldn't know.

Comment: Re:laying off...but needs more H-1B's (Score 1) 282

Companies no longer invest in their country, in their local community

And why would they? The real decision-makers in such large companies (and to an even greater extent, multinationals) rarely set foot in the communities they draw resources from, and frequently don't even understand their markets—this is why they spend so much on consultants and focus groups in an effort to do so. Said decision-makers may have, by virtue of the wealth and power synonymous with such a position, vastly different ideas (versus their labor force, markets, and those impacted indirectly by their decisions) of what it means to invest in their community, and of the value of doing so. Furthermore, in the case of publicly held companies, their hands may be tied by their investors, who are even further abstracted from every aspect of the company; except of course, for the financials.

The same applies whether you define community as a town, county, state, region, or country, to a greater extent for smaller groups, and to a degree correlating with the amount of influence the company has within (or over) the community.

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