Earlier this week, two dozen civil liberties-focused organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), and Amnesty International USA, wrote to members of Congress to express their opposition to The CLOUD Act. These organizations are concerned that, if enacted, the bill would erode civil liberty protections in the United States, allowing foreign governments to circumvent U.S. legal protections while “empowering” them to engage in human rights violations. While I understand their concerns, I believe that these groups are mistaken about the impact that the act will have on civil liberty protections in both the U.S. and around the globe.
For those who have not been following The CLOUD Act, the bill aims to clarify the laws governing how law enforcement in the U.S. and other countries obtain access to data stored in the Cloud, meet the legitimate investigatory needs of law enforcement while helping to resolve the conflicts of law currently facing service providers. The act has drawn bipartisan support in Congress, as well as support from the technology community, the White House, and our allies in the United Kingdom. I’ve also expressed my support for the bill last month in the Wall Street Journal.