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Swayne B. Hall / AP

The Justice Department is trying to take its drawn-out fight with Microsoft over law enforcement's access to emails stored on overseas servers to the Supreme Court.

Why it matters: Major tech companies are watching this case closely. If the Supreme Court takes the case, the outcome would have far-reaching effects on how tech firms store user data on foreign servers — and how law enforcement can access it. As more and more of our data is stored in the cloud by companies with data centers around the world, the question of how governments (both U.S. and abroad) can access the data is becoming increasingly complicated.

At issue is whether the U.S. government can use a warrant to access messages from one of Microsoft's data centers overseas. An appeals court sided with Microsoft, saying a U.S. warrant wasn't sufficient to obtain those messages and that the DOJ would instead need to request the data through an international process.

What's next: Tech companies including Microsoft are pushing for Congress to update the laws regarding law enforcement access to data centers to create a clear process for accessing data while also protecting privacy. Congress has held hearings on the topic but has not yet acted on legislation.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Inhofe loudly sets Trump straight on defense bill

Sen. Jim Inhofe speaks with reporters in the Capitol last month. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senator Jim Inhofe told President Trump today he'll likely fail to get two big wishes in pending defense spending legislation, bellowing into his cellphone: "This is the only chance to get our bill passed," a source who overheard part of their conversation tells Axios.

Why it matters: Republicans are ready to test whether Trump's threats of vetoing the bill, which has passed every year for more than half a century, are empty.

Conspiracy theories blow back on Trump's White House

Sidney Powell. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

President Trump has rarely met a conspiracy theory he doesn't like, but he and other Republicans now worry the wild tales told by lawyers Sidney Powell and Lin Wood may cost them in Georgia's Senate special elections.

Why it matters: The two are telling Georgians not to vote for Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler because of a bizarre, baseless and potentially self-defeating theory: It's not worth voting because the Chinese Communist Party has rigged the voting machines.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Bolton lauds Barr for standing up to Trump

John Bolton. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

John Bolton says Attorney General Bill Barr has done more to undercut President Trump's baseless assertions about Democrats stealing the election than most Senate Republicans by saying publicly that the Justice Department has yet to see widespread fraud that could change the election's outcome.

What he's saying: “He stood up and did the right thing," Bolton said in a Wednesday phone interview.