Today, I’m sharing continued progress in our work to notify our enterprise customers when the U.S. government seeks access to their data. We don’t receive many U.S. requests for enterprise customer data, but when we do, they sometimes come with secrecy orders. As we have previously shared, we strongly believe our customers own their data and have a right to control it. We also believe that, absent extraordinary circumstances, customers have a right to know when law enforcement requests their email or documents, and we have a right to tell them. For these reasons, we challenge secrecy orders when we believe they need a second look by the courts.
In the past year, we filed two cases resulting in these orders being withdrawn, both of which were recently unsealed. We’re also sharing that, in recent weeks, a third case we brought received widespread support from technology companies, major media companies, the business community and prominent former federal prosecutors…
Today, businesses increasingly store their records in the cloud, harnessing the immense computing power the cloud provides. Some law enforcement authorities have tried to exploit this migration of business data to the cloud by issuing secret legal process requiring the cloud provider to produce the company’s data – and then obtaining a secrecy order to silence the provider. This avoids the notice that businesses have historically received when law enforcement authorities seize their property. Congress could help by updating the rules under ECPA to align with the notice requirements for warrants that apply to physical searches. Now, more than ever, businesses should not be at a disadvantage simply because they store their data in the cloud.
In addition to the challenges to secrecy orders we’re sharing today, we also made a new pledge this past November to challenge underlying requests for enterprise or public-sector cloud data.
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