Jenner & Block

Congress Passes CLOUD Act Governing Cross-Border Law Enforcement Access to Data

Earlier today, Congress passed the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (the CLOUD Act), amending key aspects of U.S. surveillance law and providing a framework for cross-border data access for law enforcement purposes.  The Act addresses two problems that have been the subject of heated debate for the past five years.  First, by amending the Stored Communications Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2701et seq.(SCA), the CLOUD Act clarifies that American law enforcement authorities can compel providers of electronic communication services — such as major email service providers and social media networks — to produce data stored outside the United States.  Second, the Act establishes new rules facilitating foreign law enforcement access to data stored inside the United States.  In short, this new legislation impacts any provider that may receive either US or foreign orders to produce data in furtherance of criminal investigations.

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