A US court has ruled that the lawsuit filed by Microsoft against the Department of Justice will continue, media reports said. Microsoft argues that the US government’s gag-ordered searches of Microsoft accounts violates the constitutional right to free speech.

According to a report o  Thursday, Microsoft filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department in 2016, saying it was “unconstitutional” to force the firm to remain silent and not inform customers when their cloud data had been searched or inspected by authorities.

“The court also declined to uphold Microsoft’s Fourth Amendment case against the gag-ordered searches, finding that the precedent involved was too significant to be overturned at the district level,” the report noted. The Western Washington District Court heard the case.

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The Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution provides “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Since Microsoft’s customers store their most private and sensitive information in the Cloud, the government allegedly began to seek the secrecy orders. Back in 2013, the software giant lashed out at the US government following Edward Snowden’s disclosures of mass surveillance.

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In its initial complaint, Microsoft said it had brought the case because it believed that its customers should know when the government obtained a warrant to read their emails.

The ruling was made by the same District Judge James Robart who issued a nation-wide restraining order against the Donald Trump’s executive order that temporarily banned the entry of refugees from seven Muslim-majority nations into the US.

Source: IANS