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Court agrees to take on US-Microsoft dispute over emails
Legal Network | 2017/10/14 01:33
The Supreme Court agreed Monday to take on a major dispute over the government's authority to force American technology companies to hand over emails and other digital information sought in criminal probes but stored outside the U.S.

The justices intervened in a case of a federal drug trafficking investigation that sought emails that Microsoft keeps on a server in Ireland. The federal appeals court in New York said that the emails are beyond the reach of a search warrant issued by an American judge.

The Trump administration and 33 states told the court that the decision is impeding investigations into terrorism, drug trafficking, fraud and child pornography because other courts are relying on the ruling in preventing U.S. and state authorities from obtaining information kept abroad.

The case is among several legal clashes that Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft and other technology companies have had with the government over questions of digital privacy and authorities' need for information to combat crime and extremism.

Privacy law experts say the companies have been more willing to push back against the government since the leak of classified information detailing America's surveillance programs.

The case also highlights the difficulty that judges face in trying to square decades-old laws with new technological developments. In urging the high court to stay out of the case, Microsoft said Congress needs to bring the law into the age of cloud computing.

In 2013, federal investigators obtained a warrant under a 1986 law for emails from an account they believe was being used in illegal drug transactions as well as identifying information about the user of the email account.

Court sides with board to keep fracking ban issue off ballot
Legal Network | 2017/10/08 01:28
The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld a county elections board’s decision to reject another ballot measure that would have allowed Youngstown voters to ban the natural gas drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing in their city.
The Supreme Court agreed with the elections board in a 4-3 decision issued Friday.
Youngstown voters have previously voted down a proposed ban on fracking and fracking-related activities six times.
The Mahoning County Board of Elections last month rejected an attempt by fracking opponents to get a proposed charter amendment on the ballot this fall.
The Vindicator has reported that the board cited a new state law that says elections boards must invalidate initiative petitions if they seek to change laws that fall outside a local government’s authority to enact them.

Man who killed NFL star's son taking case to high court
Legal Network | 2017/09/29 01:27
The case of a man serving life in prison for killing the 2-year-old son of NFL running back Adrian Peterson in South Dakota is going before the state Supreme Court.

Joseph Patterson was convicted in September 2015 of second-degree murder in the October 2013 death of Tyrese Ruffin, the son of Patterson's girlfriend and Peterson.

Patterson appealed, and the Argus Leader reports the state Supreme Court will decide whether his jury trial was mishandled. Attorney arguments are scheduled Monday on several questions, including whether the trial court prejudiced the jury by allowing prosecutors to mention certain information.

Peterson was a longtime member of the Minnesota Vikings. He now plays for the New Orleans Saints.

Egypt court orders detention of 24 minority Nubians 15 days
Legal Network | 2017/09/20 19:08
A lawyer says an Egyptian court has ordered the detention of 24 Nubians for 15 days pending investigation for participating in a protest earlier this month. Nubians are an ethnic minority.

Moustafa el-Hassan says Wednesday's decision comes after prosecutors appealed an earlier decision to release them on bail. Their release, which was ordered on Tuesday, had not been finalized.

They were arrested after setting out on a march in the southern city of Aswan to demand their right to return to their ancestral land around the lake formed by the Aswan High Dam. Charges include illegal protest, receiving funds from foreign sources and blocking public roads.

Nubians trace their roots back to an ancient civilization on the Nile. They have been forcibly displaced four times in the last century.

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