A federal appeals court has ruled that the government cannot force Microsoft to reveal content from a customer's email account stored in Ireland.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled Thursday, overturning a lower court decision.
The appeals court says that Congress did not intend a U.S. law governing warrants to be enforced against a U.S.-based service provider storing contents of a customer's electronic communications on servers outside the United States.
Prosecutors sought the information in December 2013, saying they believed the account in a Dublin facility opened in 2010 was being used to further narcotics trafficking.
Dozens of businesses along with news organizations supported Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft Corp. in the case.
U.S. prosecutors said the U.S. properly followed the law in requesting the information.