Attorneys have a complicated relationship with cloud storage. On the one hand, storing everything in the cloud is fantastically convenient and really has become mission critical for attorneys to access information on the go. On the other hand, there has been a steady drip of concerns about the NSA being able to get to cloud-based storage and the possibility always exists that your cloud storage could be hacked. Add another concern to your list of cloud worries: if you are using Office 365 and storing your email and other data in Microsoft’s cloud, the government could be looking at your data and Microsoft can’t even tell you about it.

Microsoft alleges that over the last 18 months, federal courts have issued almost 2,600 gag orders, barring the company from telling its customers that their data is being searched by the government. That’s about 5 such orders per day. Microsoft also alleges that most of these orders, about sixty eight percent, or over 1750, contain no end date, committing the company to an indefinite silence.

Microsoft has sued the government, saying that users have a right to know that the government is searching their data and Microsoft has a right to tell them. The Justice Department is reviewing the lawsuit. Given the perniciousness with which they approached the whole Apple versus FBI issue, it doesn’t seem likely that they will see things Microsoft’s way.

Featured image: “Data Protection” from Shutterstock.

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