The revised CLOUD Act is at the finish line

By: Alan Wehler

Last night, House and Senate leaders released their draft Omnibus appropriations bill. The bill not only sets spending levels for the various Federal government agencies and departments, but also includes several important updates to the laws and policies governing lawful access to data. Among them is a revised version of The CLOUD Act, which includes changes designed to strengthen privacy protections and Congressional oversight made in response to concerns raised by civil liberties and privacy groups upon review of an earlier version of the bill.

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Now Is The Time To Act on Cloud

By: Michael Chertoff

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.

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Global Access to Data: The Coming Revolution

By: Paul Rosenzweig, Senior Advisor, The Chertoff Group

“Data is the new oil.”  Or so say the pundits.  If it is, then we are about to experience the first great international data transformation, much as oil transformed transportation.

Indeed, we are on the cusp of one of the most significant transitions in international governance since the fall of the Berlin Wall heralded the end of Communism.  Perhaps that is an overstatement for dramatic effect, but if it is, the degree of excess is rather small.

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