DOJ changes “gag order” policy, Microsoft to drop lawsuit

 In brad smith, ECPA, gag order, microsoft, Policy, SCA

DOJ changes “gag order” policy, Microsoft to drop lawsuit

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Enlarge / Microsoft General Counsel and Executive Vice President Brad Smith addresses shareholders during Microsoft Shareholders Meeting December 3, 2014 in Bellevue, Washington. (credit: Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

The Department of Justice has recently changed its own policy, saying it would now halt the standard never-ending gag orders that companies are faced with when they receive legal demands to hand over user data.

In addition, the new three-page memo dated October 19, written by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, allows companies to tell customers that their data has been surrendered, in most cases.

In April 2016, Microsoft sued the DOJ, asking a judge to declare unconstitutional the specific portion of federal law that deals with delayed notice, known as 18 USC 2705(b). Numerous large tech companies have sided with Microsoft in this case, including Apple, Google, Dropbox, Amazon, and Salesforce, among others.

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Brad Smith, Microsoft’s attorney: “It is an unequivocal win for our customers.”

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