The United States and the United Kingdom have entered into the world’s first-ever CLOUD Act Agreement that will allow American and British law enforcement agencies, with appropriate authorization, to demand electronic data regarding serious crime, including terrorism, child sexual abuse, and cybercrime, directly from technology companies based in the other country, rather requesting the information through the other country’s governmental agencies.

Both governments agreed to terms for a broad class of investigations, as long as they do not target the residents of the other country. The treaty also aims to assure data providers that the disclosures through the treaty are compatible with data protection laws.

Each country also undertook to seek permission from the other country before using data gained through the treaty in prosecutions that the other country deems sensitive to its fundamental civil rights. For the UK - death penalty prosecutions in the United States and the US – cases in the UK implicating freedom of speech. The treaty is intended to significantly reduce the timescales of investigations of serious crimes while assuring the protection of citizens’ privacy, says the U.S. Department of Justice.

CLICK HERE for the United States Department of Justice press release.

This article was published in the Internet, Cyber and Copyright Group’s Octomber 2019 Newsletter.