Microsoft drops US government lawsuit

Microsoft is dropping the lawsuit it had against the US government, the company has announced. The move comes after the Department of Justice (DOJ) changed the data request rules on notifying internet users when agencies access their information.

According to Reuters, the US government has pulled back its decision to prevent companies like Microsoft notifying its users when the government requests for their emails and other documents.

The new policy will limit the use of secrecy orders, Microsoft’s Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith confirmed via a blog post.

"As a result of the issuance of this policy, we are taking steps to dismiss our lawsuit," Smith said.

Microsoft thinks these changes should put an end to indefinite secrecy orders.

The lawsuit was filed in April last year, with Microsoft claiming the US government was in violation of the constitution, namely its Fourth Amendment. Smith added that these changes will make sure any new requests for secrecy are “carefully and specifically tailored to the facts in the case”, the blog says.

“This is an important step for both privacy and free expression. It is an unequivocal win for our customers, and we’re pleased the DOJ (Department of Justice) has taken these steps to protect the constitutional rights of all Americans,” the statement said.

The Department of Justice is yet to comment on the development, or answer any media questions.

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