When we talk about the cloud these days, we’re talking about online space used to store digital data. Or weather. Or whatever. But when the government talks about CLOUD, they’re talking about the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act, which is a completely different thing!
So what is CLOUD exactly? Oh, just a little piece of federal legislation aimed at allowing law enforcement agencies in the United States to directly access digital data, through lawful warrants, regardless of whether it’s stored on servers in the US, or overseas. And interestingly enough, governments in other countries are supporting this move.
Access to digital data abroad could change the way law enforcement pursues certain crimes right here on US soil!
Angus Taylor, Minister of Law Enforcement and Cyber Security in Australia, who has openly supported the development of this law in the U.S., says that our CLOUD Act will “greatly improve the efficiency of law enforcement’s access to the information they need to do their job and strengthen protections of people’s data, no matter where their data is held.“
And why does Taylor believe that now is the time for something like the CLOUD act? For that reason exactly – time! “Timely access to electronic data held by communications service providers is an essential component of government efforts to protect public safety and combat serious crime, including terrorism, child sex offenses, and organised crime.”
“Those efforts are impeded when access to important data held on servers overseas is slowed down by cumbersome processes not suited for fast-advancing communication environments, significantly delaying the investigation and prosecution of serious crimes.”
The case that prompted the CLOUD act played out in the US Supreme Court over years!
In 2013, the FBI attempted to access remote data that was stored on servers located outside of the US. This was before cloud storage was offered, and all digital data had to be physically stored on a server. In this case, the FBI had warrants for data that pertained to a drug trafficking case. However, the warrants were issued based on the USA’s outdated Stored Communications Act (SCA) of 1986.
The FBI was attempting to gain access to certain emails that a U.S. citizen had stored remotely on a Microsoft server located in Ireland. Microsoft refused to provide the information on the grounds that the SCA did not cover data stored outside the United States. Just days ago, the Supreme Court finally dismissed the case, saying that the new CLOUD Act has rendered it moot.
CLOUD has changed the way US law enforcement will deal with digital data!
In response to the case, U. S. Senator Orrin Hatch attempted to amend the SCA to allow for data stored on foreign located servers to be accessed by US law enforcement with a valid warrant. But the attempts were rejected. The CLOUD Act was the response to that dilemma.
The act was passed by the United States Congress late last month in March. Now United States data and communication companies are required to provide stored data for United States citizens on ANY server they own and operate, when requested by warrant. However, the Act does provide mechanisms for these companies, or the courts, to reject or challenge the warrants if they believe the request violates the privacy rights of foreign countries where the data is stored.
The impact of this Act could be huge, as now there are little to no obstacles between US based law enforcement and the digital data they wish to access during investigations. That includes information stored on servers anywhere in the world. If you or a loved one have been implicated in a computer crimes case, you’re going to need our help.
At The Kronzek Firm, we are experienced at defending against computer crime charges. Computer and internet crimes are technical and complex, and so are our computer crime defense strategies. So call 866 766 5245 (866 7No Jail) immediately to discuss your case with a skilled cyber crime defense attorney today. Our phones answer 24 / 7 for immediate help.