If I used a Saudi document escrow or storage service to store my documents, and they stored them in Botswana, there would be at least three jursidictions with the ability to subpoena those documents. Botswana, Saudi Arabia, and Wherever I live (so State of Washington, and U.S.A. federal jurisdictions).
It was _my_ choice to involve the Saudis and they were acting as my agent when they involved Botswana.
Sucks to be me if my documents are not actionable here but against the law there. I got those places involved in my business by doing business with them. That's the nature of actual, personal responsibility.
Really read this sentence: "In essence, President Barack Obama's administration claims that any company with operations in the United States must comply with valid warrants for data, even if the content is stored overseas."
This is a core tenant of law. It is the same legal principle that says the U.S. can prevent and punish a U.S. company from shipping heroin and sex slaves from Afghanistan to Brunei because they _are_ a U.S. company. It's also the same reason that a Brunei court can go after the same company.
If I go to mexico I am bound by Mexican _and_ U.S. Law. You can substitute any countries for any countries in this scenario.
This is also why I am mostly untouchable in Utah and Montana since I've never been in Utah, and I drove through Montana once. But that could change if I started a partnership with someone who lived in Utah. That relationship between them and I could bring many of my details under the jurisdiction of the Utah court.
You step in a river, you get water on you. You splash around in business in a particular country, the law of that country will stick.
Microsoft does business here. The dispute is a dispute here. That Microsoft stores the relevant material there, by accident of fate or by purpose of design, doesn't insulate that material from this court.
Where is the dispute, who created the material, and where are they, and where were they when they made the material. These are not very advanced questions.
It's more or less the same reason that a U.S. court can prosecute a U.S. citizen for "sex toruism" if they do the under-aged nasty in a land where that's supposedly okay, because they did it under the tacit protection of the U.S. because they could call their council and embassy via their citizenship and passport etc.
It's very, very hard to wash off a jurisdiction. One of the reasons the Swiss were so useful for so long is that they just wouldn't say what they were holding. Other jurisdictions could hold you responsible for what they could prove you "must have", but they couldn't ever get the swiss to _be_ that proof because they would simply remain silent.
There is no dispute that Microsoft has these documents. There is no dispute that Microsoft is a U.S. company. There is no dispute that the dispute is taking place in the U.S. So Microsoft's claim is _almost_ pro forma. They don't _want_ to cough up the stuff, but they likely have no belief that this defense will work.
Part of what Microsoft sells here is "if they mess with your bull they'll get _our_ horns, so trust us with your stuff". The very fact of the defense, despite its absurdity, is a feather in their cap.
But eventually the documents will be produced.