The Cloud Requires Clear Legislation

FreedomWorks Vice President for Research Wayne Brough has noted that the “major law governing privacy and the government’s ability to access personal data online -- the Electronic Communications Privacy Act [ECPA] -- was written in 1986.” Yet, as a pending Supreme Court case involving Microsoft indicates, such a decades-old, pre-internet law is grossly inadequate for 21st-century internet commerce and demands forthcoming legislation introduced by Senator Orrin Hatch. The Supreme Court has taken for review a case involving a federal search warrant served against personal data stored on a Microsoft cloud server in Ireland. Microsoft’s Supreme Court brief notes the principle that “statutes apply only domestically unless Congress clearly indicates otherwise” guides American jurisprudence. Accordingly, lower appellate courts have ruled in Microsoft’s favor against Department of Justice (DoJ) arguments asserting that American law enforcement...(Read Full Article)

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