> The problem is that even if Microsoft has stuff stored in Europe the US courts can demand that their Ireland Branch produces the data without due process ...
And in this case, you need to look a bit deeper.
AIUI, Microsoft recognised this train crash was coming along - some time in advance. They have structured things so that the datacentre in Ireland is operated by an EU based company and with access restrictions that prevent the US company staff from directly accessing the data. AT least, that's how I've been reading things.
So regardless fo the outcome of the legal case, Microsoft US cannot hand over the data as they simply can't access it. The bosses there can "instruct" the management over in the EU to hand it over, but of course will get a blunt "no, that would be illegal" response. In effect, the very worst that MS US can do is start firing managers of the EU business unit - but if they try that then they'll quickly find out about "unfair dismissal" laws as well !
So if MS lose the case, the TLA still don't get the data, but the US makes itself look even more foolish. I suppose it also means that the EU managers refusing to break the law will also have to forego ever setting foot within US jurisdiction for the rest of their lives as well since I guess the same
idiot judge would probably file a warrant for contempt of court against them.
Really, the US government, TLAs, and courts need to find a way to back down on this before it blow up big time in their face.
It's a very different situation from a US based company directly owning/operating, and having access to a datacentre that just happens to be located in the EU.