Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

U.K.-U.S. CLOUD Act Agreement Is Finally Here, Containing New Safeguards

Lawfare: “On Oct. 7, the United Kingdom and the United States released the text of the long-awaited data-sharing agreement—the first of the executive agreements envisioned by the CLOUD Act, enacted in May 2018 in order to better facilitate cross-border access to data in the investigation of serious crime. At the time of enactment, there was a heated debate about whether these executive agreements would result in the lowering or raising of privacy and other civil liberties protections—with the two of us taking the position that they held out the promise to induce privacy-enhancing reforms. That argument depended, in part, on nations entering into these agreements and updating—in our view, improving—their laws and practices to meet the CLOUD Act requirements, and the agreements themselves incorporating additional provisions that would ensure key protections are met. This first agreement is critically important, providing not just a window into the U.S. and U.K.’s approach but also presumably setting out a basic blueprint for other agreements that may follow—the European Union has begun discussions over a potential CLOUD Act executive agreement, and this week the United States and Australia formally announced negotiations as well. Notably, the agreement includes a set of additional safeguards not included in the CLOUD Act itself. Congress will now have 180 days to examine the agreement. Absent objection, it will go into effect after that time period. Here we assess what’s new about the agreement; what’s surprising; and why—despite the critics—we continue to view these agreements as positive developments that protect privacy and civil liberties, accommodate divergent norms across borders, and respond to the reality that digital evidence critical even to wholly local crimes is often located across international borders…”

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.