Getting a Bit Cloudy Up Here – US CLOUD Act
Sometimes our governments appear to be living in a cloud, totally separated from the lives of citizens, often oblivious to what is going on in the world. Tell me what you think about this. In the latest US spending bill, costing taxpayers a mere $1.3 trillion dollars – just thought I would mention that, it seems deep inside the rhetoric is the CLOUD Act. For those of you who don’t know the details, the CLOUD Act will make it easier to collect evidence stored electronically in other countries.
How so? According to Jeff Mordock of the Washington Post, in this article, “The Cloud Act allows US law enforcement at all levels – from local police to federal agents – to force tech companies to turn over user data even if it is stored on servers located outside the United States. It also gives the executive branch the ability to negotiate one-on-one agreements with foreign governments permitting those nations to access user data stored in the United States. Under a reciprocity agreement, the US could then get the data stored in that country as well. The agreements do not require congressional approval. A country could directly subpoena Google, Facebook or any other company to request its data stored in the US by negotiating an agreement directly with the president, US Department of State or the US Attorney General.”
I do wonder how this will conflict with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), if at all. I realize the US is trying to capture the ‘bad guys’, but who are the bad guys? Could you or I be a bad guy someday? Obviously, critics of the bill believe it violates human rights, Americans’ privacy, and the constitution. Technology companies aren’t too pleased with it either.
So, what do you think of the CLOUD Act?