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Foreigners’ Email On Domestic Servers Protected, Ninth Circuit Rules

Foreigners can be protected by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). The parts of the ECPA that prevent ISP’s from revealing electronic communications apply to foreigners when their emails are stored on a domestic server, the Ninth Circuit has ruled.

In Suzlon Energy v. Microsoft, the plaintiff had directed a subpoena to Microsoft seeking the substance of emails between a citizen of India with respect to fraud litigation in Australia. Microsoft did not comply with the subpoena, taking the position that to do so would violate the ECPA. The federal trial court agreed and quashed the subpoena.

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