Microsoft invokes Supreme Court opinion in Ireland email case

Microsoft believes its refusal to turn over email held in Ireland to the U.S. government got a boost from an opinion of the Supreme Court on Monday, which upheld that U.S. laws cannot apply extraterritorially unless Congress has explicitly provided for it.

In a decision Monday in a separate case on the extraterritorial application of a provision of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), the Supreme Court set out the ground rules for its analysis, pointing out that “absent clearly expressed congressional intent to the contrary, federal laws will be construed to have only domestic application.” The court was applying a canon of statutory construction known as the presumption against extraterritoriality.

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