Here’s What You Need to Know About the CLOUD Act

Blockchain

The recent Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal was something that left people reeling. It left people scared about the data they have online and now there is news of new legislation that could potentially have even greater implications. Here’s what you need to know about the CLOUD Act.

With no song and dance or big media release, the United States government has passed a new piece of legislation called the CLOUD Act. This is an acronym for the Clarifying Overseas Use of Data. There are already a series of laws in place that is intended as a means of regulating how United States enforcement officials access data that is stored overseas. This series of laws is called the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and the CLOUD Act is an update to this.

Prior to the introduction of the new law last week, United States officials had only limited access to overseas data. Any access was done via the mutual legal assistance treaties (MLATs). This involved two nations, or more, helping each other with legal investigations by putting it into writing. For the agreement to go ahead, it must receive a two-thirds approval rate when it goes to the Senate for voting.

Now, the Cloud Act offers an alternative to the MLATs. It allows any level of United States law enforcement official to force technology companies to give them the data they need for an investigation, regardless of whether the company stores the data domestically or abroad.

Another aspect of the CLOUD Act is that the executive branch can also have executive agreements with other nations. This allows both nations in the agreement to have access to each other’s data, regardless of the privacy laws of the nations within the agreement. Approval from the Congress is not required for such agreements.

The CLOUD Act was first introduced on February 6 to the House of Representatives and the Senate by politicians. However, they did not vote on it as legislation in its own right. Instead, to keep the government open, they created it into a catch-all bill worth $1.3 trillion. As a result of the larger bill being passed, it means that all the measures listed within it also pass.

At this point, you may be wondering why any of this matters to the layperson. Well, it actually means that who can have access to your data is in the hands of the executive branch as they have a lot more control over this situation now than they did previously.

The best way of understanding this is to put it into an example. Think of a situation where Canadian officials wanted access to your data. Instead of wasting time and money for both governments by sending every request via the United States government, they can now enter into an agreement with the Attorney General, the State Department or the United States President. This will give them the right to directly contact various technology companies who may store your data, such as Facebook or Google.

Although there are many saying that this new act is a danger to your data, there is also the opposing argument that it could keep the citizens of America safer. A report conducted in 2013 found that MLAT requests can take as long as ten months to complete. By this time, the data they have access to may be obsolete. The CLOUD Act allows officials to access data much quicker and this gives them the opportunity to prevent crimes from taking place or to prosecute criminals quickly.

The trade-off for this improved crime-fighting is the protection of your digital privacy. The legislators have argued that people’s digital privacy is not as important as the safety of the citizens of the United States.

Like all legislation passed in the United States, there are pros and cons to the CLOUD Act. With this in mind, it will have both its supporters and its opposers. Only time will tell if it is effective at achieving what it is intended to and how much it will invade people’s digital privacy. Of course, United States citizens have already experienced what happens when officials put security as a priority over privacy. From experience, people could argue that it is not a situation that makes them feel any safer.

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Careers CEOs Companies Education Entertainment Legal Politics Science Sports Technology
20 Things You Didn’t Know about Five9
David Wright
10 Things You Didn’t Know About David Wright
Joshua Motta
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Joshua Motta
Collectibles Credit Cards Investing Real Estate Stocks
American Express
AMEX Gold vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred: Who Wins?
credit card
What is a Credit Card Hold and How Do You Avoid One?
stock market
Is Zentalis Pharmaceuticals (ZNTL) a Solid Long Term Investment?
Aviation Boats Food & Drink Hotels Restaurants Yachts
262-Foot Superyacht “Artefact”
A Closer Look at the 262-Foot Superyacht “Artefact”
Sugar Mountain
The 10 Best Mountain Resorts in North Carolina
Maine Beaches
The 10 Best Beaches to Visit in Maine
BMW Bugatti Cadillac Ferrari Lamborghini Mercedes Porsche Rolls Royce
Subaru Impreza WRX WRX STI
The 20 Best Turner-Friendly Vehicles of All Time
2022 Hummer Ev
A Closer Look at The 2022 GMC Hummer EV
Mazda RX7
The 20 Best Drift Cars of All-Time
BMW Motorcycles Buell Ducati Harley Davidson Honda Motorcycles Husqvarna Kawasaki KTM Triumph Motorcycles Yamaha
2022 Zero FXE Electric Motorcycle
A Closer Look at the 2022 Zero FXE Electric Motorcycle
2022 Kawasaki KLR650
A Closer Look at the 2022 Kawasaki KLR650
2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT
A Closer Look at The 2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT
Electronics Fashion Health Home Jewelry Pens Sneakers Watches
Grandfather Tuna
Ranking the Five Best Seiko Tuna Watch Models
Driving Gloves
The 10 Best Pairs of Driving Gloves Money Can Buy
Adidas Women's Adilette
The Five Best Pairs of Adidas Crocs Money Can Buy
Michael Jai White
How Michael Jai White Achieved a Net Worth of $3.5 Million
Vice President Mike Pence
How Mike Pence Achieved a Net Worth of $1 Million
Andrew Schulz and Nessa
How Andrew Schulz Achieved a Net Worth of $3 Million
Wolf Blitzer
How Wolf Blitzer Achieved a Net Worth of $20 Million