Professor Bookman weighs in on extraterritoriality in Microsoft Ireland

In a recent post for Just Security, Professor Pamela Bookman analyzed the extraterritoriality issues at play in United States v. Microsoft, a data privacy case argued before the United States Supreme Court on February 27.  The case, known as Microsoft Ireland, involves whether Section 2703 of the Stored Communications Act allows a court to order a U.S. provider of email services to disclose electronic communications stored outside the United States.  Just Security is an online forum for the rigorous analysis of U.S. national security law and policy that aims to promote principled and pragmatic solutions to national security problems that decision-makers face.

In her post, Professor Bookman submits “that the presumption against extraterritoriality as it has evolved . . . is ill-equipped [to] balance all of the competing interests at stake” in United States v. Microsoft.  The post, entitled Microsoft Ireland: Extraterritoriality Step Zero, argues that “in its heightened formalism, the presumption has lost all semblance of objectivity.”  Professor Bookman continues: “Whether the court deems a statute to apply ‘domestically’ or ‘extraterritorially’ has proven too manipulable and does not even purport to take into account all, or even some, of the values competing for attention in this case in any transparent way.”

Professor Bookman teaches Contracts and Civil Procedure at Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law. Her research interests lie in the intersection of civil procedure and international business law. Her work focuses on the challenges of adapting the U.S. domestic judicial system to the complexities of modern transnational disputes.