Microsoft Sues U.S. Government Over Gag Orders (Naked Security)


To hell with lying back gagged when the Feds come looking for its customers’ data, and to hell with the passive act of putting out warrant canaries to flag when it’s happening: Microsoft is now on the offensive.

The company is suing the US Department of Justice (DOJ) over gag orders, asking a federal judge to declare unconstitutional a provision of US law that allows the government to force tech companies to stay silent when investigators are after customers’ email and other electronic data.

The suit, which targets Section 2705(b) of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986, was filed Thursday morning on Microsoft’s home turf: the Federal District Court in Seattle.

The provision allows the government to issue a court order that prohibits providers of electronic communications from notifying any person about a federal warrant, subpoena, or court order.