Citation[edit | edit source]

Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (the CLOUD Act) (2018) (full-text).

Overview[edit | edit source]

In March 2018 the U.S. Congress passed the "Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act" (or "CLOUD Act"). The CLOUD Act has two distinct parts. First, the Act authorizes the United States to enter into executive agreements with other countries that meet certain criteria, such as respect for the rule of law, to address the conflict-of-law problem. For investigations of serious crime, CLOUD agreements can be used to remove restrictions under each country's laws so that communications service providers (CSPs) can comply with qualifying, lawful orders for electronic data issued by the other country.

Second, the CLOUD Act makes explicit in U.S. law the long-established U.S. and international principle that a company subject to a country's jurisdiction can be required to produce data the company controls, regardless of where it is stored at any point in time. The CLOUD Act simply clarified existing U.S. law on this issue; it did not change the existing high standards under U.S. law that must be met before law enforcement agencies can require disclosure of electronic data.

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