Second Circuit Privacy Case
A team of O’Melveny attorneys serving as amicus counsel helped achieve a major pro bono victory for privacy advocates and providers of cloud-based services when the Second Circuit, in a landmark decision, ruled that a warrant issued under the Stored Communications Act (SCA) cannot compel US companies to produce data stored outside the country. Together with the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Constitution Project, O’Melveny submitted an amicus brief focusing on the location of the search at issue. The Second Circuit’s opinion adopted the same position O’Melveny advanced; that because the files were stored on a server abroad, the search was foreign. This point is crucial for the ever-evolving world of data storage and electronic searches. As the court noted, companies increasingly store data abroad for a variety of reasons, and that data is not rendered domestic simply because someone in the US can access the data.