Washington — Senators Orrin Hatch, Chris Coons, Lindsey Graham, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Representatives Doug Collins, Hakeem Jeffries, Darrell Issa, and Suzan DelBene introduced the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (“CLOUD”) Act of 2018 today. The bill is meant to address the conflict of laws issues raised by law enforcement access to data stored in the global cloud.
CCIA joined with other industry associations in voicing support for the CLOUD Act as “an important step toward modernizing the United States’ approach” to the challenges posed by overlapping jurisdictions, conflicting foreign laws, and dated regimes for lawful access to data.
The CLOUD Act allows U.S. law enforcement to use existing legal process to require disclosure of data stored with cloud providers subject to U.S. jurisdiction—unless the provider reasonably believes the customer or subscriber is not a U.S. person, and the disclosure would likely cause the provider to violate the laws of a qualifying foreign government. The Act would also create a legislative framework for foreign law enforcement access to data stored with U.S. companies, pursuant to the terms of an executive agreement negotiated between the U.S. and certain qualifying countries, and provided those countries provide adequate protections for human rights and privacy and afford U.S. law enforcement reciprocal access.
The Computer & Communications Industry Association 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 unworkable. They reduce the trust users have in the privacy of their digital information, place U.S. companies in the midst of conflicting laws, and leave U.S. and international law enforcement agencies without legal recourse.
“The CLOUD Act would help address these issues by establishing a clear mechanism for U.S. law enforcement to seek some data stored abroad, while also providing a balanced legislative framework that permits requests from foreign investigators whose countries remove conflicts of law, raise privacy standards, and respect human rights.
“We look forward to working with Congress on this important legislation and ensuring that that the rights of Internet users worldwide are protected, while law enforcement’s needs are met appropriately.”
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