Google has been ordered to comply with search warrants for customer emails stored outside the US.
The US magistrate judge Thomas Rueter in Philadelphia ruled on Friday (3 February) the transfer of emails from a foreign server to the FBI for the law enforcement agency to review.
According to a Reuters' report the judge said there was "no meaningful interference" with the account holder's "possessory interest" in the data sought.
"Though the retrieval of the electronic data by Google from its multiple data centers abroad has the potential for an invasion of privacy, the actual infringement of privacy occurs at the time of disclosure in the United States," noted Rueter.
Google in a statement on Saturday said: "The magistrate, in this case, departed from precedent, and we plan to appeal the decision. We will continue to push back on overbroad warrants."
Google, in the court papers, said it breaks up emails into pieces to improve the performance of its network and did not know where exactly the particular emails might be stored.
Google said it had complied with the warrants, by turning over data that was stored in the US.
Rueter ruling suggests Google received more than 25,000 requests annually from the US authorities for the disclosure of user data related to criminal matters.
The ruling by Reuter came just less than seven months after the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeal in New York ruled that American investigators could not force Microsoft to turn over emails stored on a server in Dublin in a case related to narcotics.
On 24 January, the appeals court voted against revisiting the ruling. Four judges have called on the US Supreme Court or Congress to reverse this legal decision, claiming the ruling hurts law enforcement.