U.S.-U.K. data access agreement enters into force

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The United States and the United Kingdom have agreed on a Data Access Agreement (DAA), which sets out how one country can respond to legal requests for data from police and investigators in the other country and support cross-border law enforcement, while respecting laws protecting privacy and civil liberties.

“Under the Data Access Agreement, service providers in one country may respond to qualifying, lawful orders for electronic data issued by the other country without fear of running afoul of restrictions on cross-border disclosures. The Data Access Agreement fosters more timely and efficient access to electronic data required in fast-moving investigations through the use of orders covered by the Agreement,” the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement.

The agreement sets out the obligations of the U.S. and the U.K. under the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act, which was passed by the U.S. Congress in 2018. The CLOUD Act approved bilateral agreements such as the DAA between the U.S. and its foreign partners because the other important mechanism for international cooperation, Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties, takes too long.

According to the Justice Department, the DAA will make it easier to prevent, detect, investigate, and prosecute serious crimes such as terrorism, cross-border organized crime, and child exploitation.

Britain’s Home Office has a similar characterization of the DAA, claiming that it will benefit Britain, especially because so much online data is held by companies that do business with the U.S. and have not yet been available.

The sources for this piece include an article in TheRegister.


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