Washington — The Computer & Communications Industry Association joined other associations today in a letter to House Judiciary Committee leadership voicing support for the International Communications Privacy Act (ICPA). The letter comes in advance of a hearing on data stored abroad and its impacts on law enforcement and privacy. Policymakers are trying to balance law enforcement requests for data as more information is stored in the cloud—at a time when the laws protecting that data have not been updated.

As part of its hearing testimony, the Department of Justice also publicly released a new version of a draft legislative framework for addressing these and similar issues, through a proposed series of bilateral agreements with foreign governments.

CCIA has advocated updating current laws on electronic privacy for the digital era, as they were written more than 30 years ago. The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“The current laws regulating government access to cloud data are untenable. They reduce the trust users have in the privacy of their information, place U.S. companies in the midst of a thicket of conflicting laws, and leave U.S. and international law enforcement agencies without legal recourse.

“The International Communications Privacy Act can help relieve these pressures by requiring that law enforcement agencies get a warrant to obtain users’ data and by providing a balanced framework for law enforcement to seek some data stored abroad.

“We also look forward to working with Congress and the Department of Justice to evaluate the merits of its new legislative proposal, to ensure that the rights of Internet users worldwide are protected, while law enforcement’s needs are met appropriately.”

For additional information on the complex issues surrounding cross-border law enforcement demands for data, see here.

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