DOJ White Paper Answers Questions about the Scope and Applicability of the CLOUD Act

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Last year Congress enacted the CLOUD Act (the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act) to clarify the means for foreign legal authorities to access electronic information held by U.S.-based global providers. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), in April 2019, issued a White Paper entitled “Promoting Public Safety, Privacy, and the Rule of Law Around the World: The Purpose and Impact of the CLOUD Act.” This White Paper lays out the policy and legal reasons for enactment of the CLOUD Act, and explains how the CLOUD Act overlays and interacts with existing laws and established inter-governmental practices.

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U.S. Congress Approves CLOUD Act for Data Stored Overseas

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On March 23, 2018, Congress passed the “Clarifying Overseas Use of Data Act,” also known as the “CLOUD Act” (H.R. 4943, S. 2383), a new U.S. law that will have a dramatic effect on the United State government’s control over and access to data stored overseas.  The CLOUD Act was introduced to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on February 6, 2018, as part of a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill.  The bill passed both houses of Congress on March 23, 2018, and was signed into law by the President the next day.

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