The government asked the full Second Circuit to rehear the case, but the court deadlocked by a 4-to-4 vote. In dissent, Judge Jos A. Cabranes wrote that the panels decision had restricted an investigative tool used thousands of times a year while failing to serve any serious, legitimate, or substantial privacy interest.
In urging the Supreme Court to hear the case, the Justice Department said nothing should turn on Microsofts business decision to store data abroad that it can access domestically with the click of a computer mouse. The panels ruling, the departments brief said, is causing immediate, grave, and ongoing harm to public safety, national security, and the enforcement of our laws.
Hundreds if not thousands of investigations of crimes ranging from terrorism, to child pornography, to fraud are being or will be hampered by the governments inability to obtain electronic evidence, the brief said.
In response, Microsoft told the justices that it is up ...