News Home

[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


Subscribe to RSS feed

Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

Sign up for daily updates

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate $10

Donate $5

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Publications & Products

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

News Watch Home

U.S. privacy laws also extend to noncitizens  

Credit:  By Tim Hull, Courthouse News service, www.courthousenews.com 3 October 2011 ~~

A federal law that protects the privacy of emails and other electronic communications extends to foreign nationals, the 9th Circuit ruled Monday, allowing Microsoft to protect the emails of an Indian citizen accused of fraud in Australia.
Indian wind-power company Suzlon Energy wants Microsoft to hand over emails from the Hotmail account of Rajagopalan Sridhar, whom Suzlon is suing for civil fraud in Australia. The energy company has accused Sridhar, who is currently in prison, of diverting profits, transferring company funds to Swiss bank accounts and other financial malfeasance.
A Seattle federal judge initially granted Suzlon’s request but then changed its tune after Microsoft filed a motion to quash. U.S. District Court Judge Marsha Pechman eventually agreed with Microsoft that Sridhar’s email account is protected by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), even though he is foreign citizen.
With a simple reading of the law’s text, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit affirmed unanimously.
At first blush, the case appears to be more complicated than it actually is, according to the panel. But there is nothing in the privacy law to suggest that a U.S. company can ignore its obligations just because a customer is not a citizen.
“While the parties in this case raise issues of international policy, constitutional rights, and the fortuities of the Internet age, this case ultimately turns on the plain language of the relevant statute,” wrote U.S. District Judge Andrew Guilford, sitting on the Seattle-based panel by designation from Santa Ana, Calif.
And that “plain language” says that the ECPA protects “any person.”
“Any person means any person, including foreign citizens,” Guilford wrote. “The court also finds that the statute as a whole confirms that Congress intended the term ‘any person’ to cover noncitizens.”

Source:  By Tim Hull, Courthouse News service, www.courthousenews.com 3 October 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
Donate $5 PayPal Donate


News Watch Home

Get the Facts Follow Wind Watch on Twitter

Wind Watch on Facebook


© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.