The Cloud Act was passed with a federal law on 23.03.2018. The law allows law enforcement agencies to request online information from any other country in the world without any real reason or suspicion.
The Cloud Act was introduced by the Republican Senator Orrin Hatch with the support of both sides, Republican and Democratic Senators. The decision gives law enforcement authorities access to all electronic data stored on a server in another country. This includes emails, Facebook messages and files of any kind.
Hatch declares and justifies this decision as follows:
The CLOUD Act bridges the divide that sometimes exists between law enforcement and the tech sector by giving law enforcement the tools it needs to access data throughout the world while at the same time creating a commonsense framework to encourage international cooperation to resolve conflicts of law.
The law was passed without this being widely discussed and analysed by the public.
An influential author and speaker at international conferences, Andreas Antonopulous, strongly criticized the approach and made it clear that privacy was finally destroyed.
The CLOUD Act passed. It destroys privacy globally, so it had to be snuck into the $1.3 trillion omnibus without debate.
Encrypt. Encrypt. Encrypt. Go Dark.
When privacy is criminalized, only criminals have privacy. We got sold out, again. pic.twitter.com/Ms5bm1opBo
— Andreas M. Antonopoulos (@aantonop) March 23, 2018
An association dealing with rights in the digital world, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) believes that this law was created to gain access to any data at the international level without having to give any reasonable reason.
International corporations such as Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and Yahoo support the Cloud Act. Brad Smith, Chief Legal Officer of Microsoft, stated in an article of 21.03.2018:
The proposed CLOUD Act creates a modern legal framework for how law enforcement agencies can access data across borders. It’s a strong statute and a good compromise.
In a joint letter, all of the companies mentioned above spoke out in favour of the Cloud Act.
In today’s digital currency environment, this law seems a logical step from the point of view of governments to legally gain access to all necessary data to verify transactions and accounts worldwide.
We take an extremely critical view of the fact that the public was practically “left out” and the law was simply “waved through”.