Microsoft and the U.S. government are in an ongoing battle over an Irishman allegedly involved in Silk Road wanted by the FBI on darknet drug charges, as reported by Deep Dot Web.
The 27-year-old Irishman, Gary Davis, from Wicklow, is currently fighting an extradition case led by the FBI so that he can avoid facing charges for his alleged involvement in Silk Road, the illegal online marketplace. Mr Davis is alleged to have been an administrator on the website using the name ‘Libertas’ when the FBI shut it down in 2013.
Silk Road was an online marketplace that worked on the darknet offering users the ability to anonymously buy illegal items such as drugs, weapons, and false documents where trade could be bought with the cryptocurrency, bitcoins. The creator of Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht, is currently serving a life sentence for computer hacking, money laundering, and conspiracy to traffic drugs.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) served Microsoft with a warrant seeking access to data from a Microsoft Office email account claiming that the information it held related to Davis’ case. Earlier this week he was in court, in Dublin, fighting extradition to the U.S., but the case was adjourned until July 8.
Paul Ennis, a researcher at University College Dublin’s Centre for Innovation, Technology & Organisation who is researching the Silk Road case, said:
If they’re going to upset an ally, as they are doing here with Microsoft, and potentially with Ireland, it could only be something which has embarrassed them or upset them. Silk Road fits that.
Davis followed this up with a tweet saying:
Some whistling wind informs me that this centers around my email. Not playing by the rules again, FBI? Shocking.
Mr Davis is wanted for trial in the U.S. on charges of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, conspiracy to commit computer hacking, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. If convicted, he could receive a life sentence.
This ongoing battle between Microsoft and the U.S. government dates back to 2013 when a U.S. District Court judgement forced the technology giant to hand over the emails of a suspected drug trafficker who was not identified.
While the Redmond-based software giant handed over the non-content-related information on its U.S. servers, it refused to hand over the emails themselves claiming that the U.S. government had no right to access content stored on servers in foreign countries.
The case is currently being considered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the judgment is highly anticipated by technology companies as well as privacy advocates.
Featured image from Shutterstock.