Skype has been summoned to appear in court over its refusal to share customer data in relation to a criminal investigation, it has been reported.

The summons was issued after the firm declined to help Belgian authorities and refused to provide details of messages and calls between two suspects.

The reasons given by the Microsoft Owned firm was that it is not a telecoms company, and therefore isn’t bound by the country’s Telecom Act, which requires telcos to assist police in such cases by handing over data on suspects.

Skype is due to appear in court in early June, in the town of Mechelen.

A court spokesman told Reuters: “The judicial question is whether Skype is also a telecoms operator.”

The news comes as Microsoft plans its appeal against a New York court ruling that would force it to give the US access to customer data stored in Dublin-based servers.

It has been supported by other giants in the industry, such as Cisco, Apple and Salesforce.

If Skype is forced to pay a fine or hand over the data as a result of losing the case, then the strength of the EU-US Safe Harbour agreement will be undermined.

The deal guarantees that EU-based data will receive adequate privacy protections if it is moved outside the EU.

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