Twitter has announced they will move all data from non-United States accounts to servers in Ireland. The accounts will now be subject to Irish (European Union) privacy and protection laws rather than those of the US.

The data transfer is a big move for Twitter. 77 percent of the social media network’s 288 million users are outside the United States.

Some will naturally speculate that the discoveries about PRISM clandestine surveillance may have prompted Twitter to move the non-US accounts out of the country and out of the NSA’s jurisdiction, but Twitter has not commented on this matter.

The non-US accounts aren't quite free and clear from US agencies potentially getting a look at their data.

A Twitter privacy policy update sent to affected accounts stated, "nothing in this Privacy Policy is intended to limit any legal defenses or objections that you may have to a third party's, including a government's, request to disclose your information."

Furthermore, another tech giant, Microsoft, is in a legal fight with US law enforcement that Twitter may want to pay attention to. US agencies are still trying to apply US warrants in order to seize data stored in Microsoft’s Irish data centers. The fight is creating a legal grey area and has some Irish officials calling the US agency's process into question.

Ireland's Data Protection Minister, Dara Murphy, stated, "Co-operation in the area of law enforcement is a fundamental element of our international relations, in particular with our partners in the US, which is why the issue of the transfer of the data itself is not objectionable, but rather the process that is being used.”

Murphy went on to say that, "This would create significant legal uncertainty for Irish and EU consumers and companies regarding the protection of their data which, in this digital age, is everyone's most valuable asset."

Companies like Facebook, Amazon, Cisco and many others are backing Microsoft in the fight against US law enforcement. Twitter will likely face a similar fight if US law enforcement wants access to any data in Ireland.

H/T to ZDNet