• United States



Sixth Circuit Makes it Harder to Get Cloud E-mail

Dec 14, 20101 min
Data and Information Security

The Sixth Circuit has just ruled that the government must have a search warrant before it can secretly seize and review e-mail from cloud providers. This decision marks the first time this issue was squarely addressed by a federal court.

The bad news is that this is only one federal circuit. Much of the rest of the country remains without a clear legal precedent.

Businesses must understand the inherent risk of placing their e-mail in the cloud. Providers who host their e-mail may be subject to these types of governmental requests and e-mail may be produced without the business every knowing it. In addition to all the other challenges of operating in the cloud (e.g., service levels, security, etc.), this type of risk must also become part of the overall assessment businesses conduct in evaluating whether to move to the cloud.


Michael R. Overly is a partner and intellectual property lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP where he focuses on drafting and negotiating technology related agreements, software licenses, hardware acquisition, development, disaster recovery, outsourcing agreements, information security agreements, e-commerce agreements, and technology use policies. He counsels clients in the areas of technology acquisition, information security, electronic commerce, and on-line law.

Mr. Overly is a member of the Technology Transactions & Outsourcing and Privacy, Security & Information Management Practices. Mr. Overly is one of the few practicing lawyers who has satisfied the rigorous requirements necessary to obtain the Certified Information System Auditor (CISA), Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Information Systems Security Management Professional (ISSMP), Certified Risk and Information System Controls (CRISC) and Certified Outsourcing Professional (COP) certifications.

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of Michael R. Overly and do not necessarily represent those of IDG Communications, Inc., its parent, subsidiary or affiliated companies.

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