Theresa May supports Trump's CLOUD Act to extend US power over overseas data
Posted by Damien Biddulph on Mon 12th Feb 2018
Would enable US authorities to click their fingers to access data held by US companies overseas
Prime Minister Theresa May has come out in support of new laws introduced to Congress this week that would enable US authorities to more easily access data held overseas by US corporations.
It comes as the US Department of Justice (DoJ) case against Microsoft, in which the DoJ has for years been trying to extract information from an account held in a Microsoft data centre in Ireland, rumbles on.
The Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act is due to be considered by the US Senate this month. The proposed legislation won't be one-way traffic, though, and would also enable authorities in the UK to more easily access information held in the US.
A Downing Street spokesperson said that May stressed the "great importance" of the new data law after she spoke to President Trump on Tuesday evening.
"With it, law enforcement officials in the US and the UK will be empowered to investigate their citizens suspected of terrorism and serious crimes like murder, human trafficking, and the sexual abuse of children regardless of where the suspect's email or messages happen to be stored," the spokesperson said.
The result of the talks ended in the Prime Minister and President Trump agreed the passage of the act through the US legislative system was vital for our collective security.
US Senator Orrin Hatch called the CLOUD Act "landmark legislation" that addresses an "increasingly pressing problem".
In a statement issued by Hatch on Tuesday, he said: "In today's world of email and cloud computing, where data is stored across the globe, law enforcement and tech companies find themselves encumbered by conflicting data disclosure and privacy laws.
"We need a common sense framework to help law enforcement obtain critical information to solve crimes while at the same time enabling email and cloud computing providers to comply with countries' differing privacy regimes.
"The CLOUD Act creates such a framework and will also help set a precedent for our allies as they deal with this problem too."