THE CLOUD ACT: A DANGEROUS EXPANSION OF POLICE SNOOPING ON CROSS-BORDER DATA | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


THE CLOUD ACT: A DANGEROUS EXPANSION OF POLICE SNOOPING ON CROSS-BORDER DATA

This week, Senators Hatch, Graham, Coons, and Whitehouse introduced a bill that diminishes the data privacy of people around the world.

The Clarifying Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act expands American and foreign law enforcement’s ability to target and access people’s data across international borders in two ways. First, the bill creates an explicit provision for U.S. law enforcement (from a local police department to federal agents in Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to access “the contents of a wire or electronic communication and any record or other information” about a person regardless of where they live or where that information is located on the globe. In other words, U.S. police could compel a service provider—like Google, Facebook, or Snapchat—to hand over a user’s content and metadata, even if it is stored in a foreign country, without following that foreign country’s privacy laws.[1]

Second, the bill would allow the President to enter into “executive agreements” with foreign governments that would allow each government to acquire users’ data stored in the other country, without following each other’s privacy laws.

For example, because U.S.-based companies host and carry much of the world’s Internet traffic, a foreign country that enters one of these executive agreements with the U.S. to could potentially wiretap people located anywhere on the globe (so long as the target of the wiretap is not a U.S. person or located in the United States) without the procedural safeguards of U.S. law typically given to data stored in the United States, such as a warrant, or even notice to the U.S. government. This is an enormous erosion of current data privacy laws.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Senators, Hatch, Graham, and Coons, I would like to politely suggest that you collectively re-read the opening statements to the the Bill or Rights, particularly the 4th Amendment:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things ..."

This law absolutely does not conform to the protections afforded American citizens under the Constitution and Bill of Rights, which constitute the real, and only, "Contract with America" and the hearings on this legislation should be abandoned.

But sadly, in this portion of the 21st century, this is precisely the kind of thinking one must expect from those in the Bowels of Power in DC; this is
the kind of legislation which can only come from a government deeply fearful of its own people.

Because of all the ugly Federal Government revelations moving now at breakneck speed, Americans are going to start get angry at what has been done by a broken and corrupt system.

I would like to hope that they will use that anger in the most peaceful, calm, calculated way possible, which gets the b*astards who have put the US in its current state, voted out of office, never to return to a position of public trust or power, which they no longer deserve.

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