Senate Gives Nod To Controversial Cross-Border Data Access Bill

The Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (the CLOUD Act), is a provision that sets rules for how the government should handle accessing personal data that is stored by tech platforms abroad.

Extract from article by Lindsey O’Donnell

The United States Senate on Thursday approved a controversial cross-border data access act, dubbed the CLOUD Act, that was part of the overall omnibus government spending bill.

Buried on page 2,201 of the government spending bill is the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (the CLOUD Act), a provision that sets rules for how the government should handle accessing personal data that is stored by tech platforms abroad. For the US specifically, the bill would permit law enforcement to access citizens’ information that is stored on systems in a different country, given that they have a US court-approved subpoena.


The Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (CLOUD ACT)

CLOUD Act

“In today’s world of email and cloud computing, where data is stored across the globe, law enforcement and tech companies find themselves encumbered by conflicting data disclosure and privacy laws,” said senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), one of the founders of the bill, in a statement. “We need a commonsense framework to help law enforcement obtain critical information to solve crimes while at the same time enabling email and cloud computing providers to comply with countries’ differing privacy regimes.”

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