US fights Microsoft's bid to tell users when feds take data

By MARTHA BELLISLE - Associated Press 24 January 2017, 12:00AM

SEATTLE (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department wants a judge to throw out a lawsuit from Microsoft and keep a law that prohibits technology companies from telling customers when the government demands their electronic data.

Microsoft says its customers have a constitutional right to know when the government collects private information. The company says the law also violates its First Amendment right to speak with customers.

Microsoft says it gets about three requests every day and many don't have end dates. Companies such as Apple, Amazon and Twitter have written court briefs supporting the lawsuit.

A Justice Department lawyer said in court Monday that the government has an interest in keeping criminal investigations confidential. He said Microsoft doesn't have standing to argue for its customers' constitutional rights.

The judge says he'll rule later.

By MARTHA BELLISLE - Associated Press 24 January 2017, 12:00AM
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