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Microsoft challenges federal judge’s order on ‘sneak and peek’ searches

(Reuters) – Microsoft (MSFT.O) said on Wednesday it was challenging a federal judge’s order that prevents the software maker from informing one of its large corporate customers that the U.S. government has issued a warrant for the customer’s data.

“We have challenged that order in the lower court, and we will pursue an appeal in the appellate court if necessary,” said Dev Stahlkopf, Microsoft’s general counsel said in a blogpost. (

The warrants, called “sneak and peek”, do not require the subject of a federal inquiry to be informed that the U.S. government has requested for their data.

In 2016, Microsoft, with backing from other technology giants such as Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Inc (AMZN.O), had sued the government over this practice.

Stahlkopf said Microsoft had limited information on this specific case, but said the customer had thousands of employees.

“Based on the limited information available to us in this case, we feel the secrecy order was too broadly drawn and is inconsistent with the U.S. government’s policy that secrecy orders be narrowly tailored,” Stahlkopf said.

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