Access and Feeds

Security: The CLOUD Act Enables Government Access to Data Stored Anywhere

By Dick Weisinger

The CLOUD Act, fully known as the Clarifying Lawful Use of Overseas Data Act, is causing quite a stir. The Act was passed and signed into law by Trump in March 2018.

The CLOUD Act compels any US-based technology company to provide data to the US government on request, regardless of whether the data is stored in the US or in a foreign country. The Act does not require the US government to consult with the country where the data is stored.

Further, the CLOUD Act makes it possible for the President to enter into executive agreements with foreign countries to enable foreign governments to have the right to compel US tech companies to turn over requested data to the foreign government. The US and UK intelligence communities discussed enabling that in late 2018.

Sophie in ’t Veld, Dutch Lawmaker, said that “because of the Cloud Act, the long arm of the American authorities reaches European citizens, contradicting all EU law. Would the Americans accept it if the EU would grant itself extraterritorial jurisdiction on U.S. soil? And would the Commission also propose negotiations with Russia or China, if they would adopt their own Russian or Chinese Cloud Act?”

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, said that “no one can accept that a foreign government, even the American one, can come fetch data on companies stored by a U.S. company, without warning and without us being able to respond.”

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