On Oct. 3, the United States and the United Kingdom signed the first-ever executive agreement under the CLOUD Act, a 2018 law that authorizes the U.S. to enter into information-sharing agreements with other countries for the purpose of aiding criminal investigations.
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Editor's note: This piece is cross-posted at Just Security.
After last year’s passage of the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (Cloud Act), officials and journalists in the European Union have ramped up criticism of the American desire for extraterritorial access to electronic evidence, with some accusing the United States of being motivated by the desire to conduct economic espionage for the benefit of U.S. economic interests.
On Wednesday, the Department of Justice released a white paper on the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act, or Cloud Act, which was enacted in March 2018. The white paper, entitled “Promoting Public Safety, Privacy, and the Rule of Law Around the World: The Purpose and Impact of the CLOUD Act,” is available here and below.
In a post last week, Neema Singh Guliani of the ACLU and Naureen Shah of Amnesty International disagreed with our earlier arguments as to why the CLOUD Act is good for privacy and human rights.
A dozen privacy and human rights groups have opposed the bipartisan CLOUD Act regulating cross-border data access, claiming that it will erode basic liberties.
The issue of law enforcement access to data held abroad is in the news again with the Supreme Court set to hear oral argument in United States v. Microsoft on Feb. 27, and Congress considering the recently-announced CLOUD Act.
Lawfare readers are familiar with the perennial regulatory challenge of determining which country’s law enforcement agents ought to be able to access internet data stored in the cloud. This is a considerable problem in two distinct contexts: (1) American law enforcement officers seeking access to data held abroad and (2) law enforcement officers around the world seeking access to data held by American firms.