In conjunction with the ongoing US-EU Safe Harbor negotiations, following the umbrella agreement announced last month between US and EU data transfer negotiators on law enforcement uses of data, the European Parliament is waiting on enactment of the Judicial Redress Act by the US before approving the agreement on sharing data for law enforcement purposes.  The Judicial Redress Act was introduced in the Senate by Senators Hatch and Murphy (S. 1600) and in the House (H.R. 1428) by Reps. Sensenbrenner and Conyers (H.R. 1428).

The bill is designed to help mitigate law-enforcement-related international data transfer tensions with Europe.  Specifically, it would provide citizens of EU countries and other US allies core privacy protections (through the Privacy Act) similar to what US citizens are provided in Europe (although these are in practice largely symbolic).  Some privacy advocates have criticized the bill because it does nothing to close a loop hole under the Privacy Act for national security actions, which may also leave some EU officials unsatisfied.

On October 20, the House passed the bill unanimously and the Senate may vote on the bill as early as this week as an amendment to the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (CISA), which the Senate is currently considering.  Although the recent European Court of Justice decision invalidating the Safe Harbor scheme has added a new element of uncertainty to the Safe Harbor negotiations, the House passage of the bill was designed to demonstrate the US’ commitment to reaching a new Safe Harbor agreement.