Case of the Day: Suzlon Energy v. Microsoft

Today’s case of the day, Suzlon Energy Ltd. v. Microsoft Corp. (9th Cir. 2011), is another case involving the Stored Communications Act. Suzlon brought a judicial assistance application seeking to serve a subpoena on Microsoft for the contents of emails from the Hotmail account of Sridhar, an Indian national, for use in a civil case against Sridhar pending in the Federal Court of Australia. Predictably, Microsoft sought to quash the subpoena on the grounds that under 18 U.S.C. § 2702, it was forbidden to disclose the contents of the emails. The issue in the case was whether foreigners are also entitled to the protections of the statute. After some statutory construction, the Ninth Circuit came to the obvious conclusion—the SCA does indeed cover the email accounts of foreigners.

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