Do You Know What The US Cloud Act Is And How It Impacts Canadians?

The “Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data” or CLOUD Act was officially enacted on March 23, 2018. It gives the US government increased access to the private data of its citizens. As well, it helps foreign governments acquire data held by US providers.

The new act amends the Stored Communications Act (SCA), which is part of the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act—laws that regulate how US law enforcement officials can access data stored overseas. So now SCA decides on the circumstances in which service providers could disclose the records of their customers.

Although there are those who see the US CLOUD Act as long overdue and a welcome change from the complex treaties of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), there are others who feel apprehensive about the inconsistencies and threat to data sovereignty that are within the Act. And they should, because until the CLOUD Act came into effect, the US could only access data stored overseas through MLATs (Server Cloud Canada, 2018).

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