Apple and Cisco are backing Microsoft via an "Amicus Curiae" request as the latter takes on the US government in a vital battle that could determine the fate of data protection there.

Back in April, Microsoft was summoned via a warrant issued by a US District Court to provide an unnamed federal entity with access to its email database, even if it is stored outside the US.

The bureaucratic process involved in having to deal with law enforcement parties in every country in potential legal tussles was what motivated the request according to the magistrate on the case.

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The Memorandum of law in support of Motion by Apple and Microsoft suggests that the court should instead consider that "the Electronic Communications Privacy Act ("ECPA") was not intended to apply extraterritorially, and that principles of comity and reciprocity require the Government to comply with the MLAT process when foreign user data is stored abroad".

It also highlighted the fact that the ruling in April, did not "mention international law, possible conflicts of laws, or the burden on providers of complying with conflicting legal regimes".