The Long Arm of Cyber Law: How the CLOUD Act Expands Government Access to Overseas Data

With cyber crimes on the rise—including international email scams and overseas investment frauds—Congress has erased many of the boundaries that have impeded government access to data stored in the United States and abroad. Enacted on March 23, the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (the CLOUD Act) ushers in a new legal framework for foreign and domestic law enforcement agencies seeking access to electronic data relevant to a criminal investigation. Given the trends identified in the FBI’s latest Internet Crime Report, any company transmitting or storing information about individuals or corporations, whether in the US or abroad, should become familiar with the CLOUD Act’s procedural requirements.

The CLOUD Act is intended to resolve two principal issues: (1) access by US law enforcement to data stored by US companies abroad, and (2) access by foreign law enforcement to data stored in the US. Both companies that transmit electronic communications and that store data remotely—ECS and RCS services, respectively—should not only understand the implications of these changes, but also develop procedures to file motions to modify or quash orders determined to be potentially unlawful. ..Read More..

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