A NEW BACKDOOR AROUND THE FOURTH AMENDMENT: THE CLOUD ACT | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


A NEW BACKDOOR AROUND THE FOURTH AMENDMENT: THE CLOUD ACT

There’s a new, proposed backdoor to our data, which would bypass our Fourth Amendment protections to communications privacy. It is built into a dangerous bill called the CLOUD Act, which would allow police at home and abroad to seize cross-border data without following the privacy rules where the data is stored.

This backdoor is an insidious method for accessing our emails, our chat logs, our online videos and photos, and our private moments shared online between one another. This backdoor would deny us meaningful judicial review and the privacy protections embedded in our Constitution.

This new backdoor for cross-border data mirrors another backdoor under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, an invasive NSA surveillance authority for foreign intelligence gathering. That law, recently reauthorized and expanded by Congress for another six years, gives U.S. intelligence agencies, including the NSA, FBI, and CIA, the ability to search, read, and share our private electronic messages without first obtaining a warrant.

The new backdoor in the CLOUD Act operates much in the same way. U.S. police could obtain Americans’ data, and use it against them, without complying with the Fourth Amendment.

For this reason, and many more, EFF strongly opposes the CLOUD Act.

The CLOUD Act (S. 2383 and H.R. 4943) has two major components. First, it empowers U.S. law enforcement to grab data stored anywhere in the world, without following foreign data privacy rules. Second, it empowers the president to unilaterally enter executive agreements with any nation on earth, even known human rights abusers. Under such executive agreements, foreign law enforcement officials could grab data stored in the United States, directly from U.S. companies, without following U.S. privacy rules like the Fourth Amendment, so long as the foreign police are not targeting a U.S. person or a person in the United States.

That latter component is where the CLOUD Act’s backdoor lives.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

On Facebook or on line, I never state anything that isn't pure vanilla; I use Mike's website for what may be considered the more controversial stuff, but I back it up with as much fact as I can find.

The truth of the business is, we are all constantly surveilled, and the reality of the protections for speech, which used to be guaranteed by the 4th Amendment to the Constitution, has been eviscerated.

Because of this reality, meaningful 21st century communication has been reduced to sign language under a completely opaque tent.

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