U.S. law enforcement can force Microsoft Corp. to turn over emails it stores in Ireland, a judge ruled in a case that technology companies have rallied around as they pursue billions of dollars in data storage business abroad.
U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska ruled from the bench Thursday after hearing oral arguments in Manhattan.
She said she agreed with the findings of a magistrate judge who approved a sealed search warrant in December for a consumer email account that Microsoft stores in Dublin, Ireland. U.S. investigators were seeking the information as part of a narcotics investigation.
Preska said it was a question of who controlled the data rather than where it was stored. The information could be produced by Microsoft in the United States without intruding on the foreign sovereignty of Ireland, she added.