S 2383 / HR 4943



2 out of 5

02/06/2018: Sits with the Judiciary Committee

Technology has evolved faster than legislation, which is why data storage is a charged topic. Among other things, the bill would primarily address policy issues prevelant in the tech sector and law enforcement space to date. The most contentious issue is the jurisdiction clarification for data stored in overseas data centers, as well as the ability to create recipricol relationships with foreign governments established through executive agreements. The law would grant US law enforcement permission to use regular warrants to obtain data and communications for foreign countries, bypassing mutual assistance treaties currently in place. The law would also allow for foreign countries to reciprocate, and ask for data from United States citizens, regardless of how similar the countries' criminal laws are.

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The most important aspect of the bill is that it finally identifies and addresses longstanding issues regarding data rights that Congress has largely ignored and abdicated to the courts. A congressional solution would provide a clear frame of reference in which companies can act, and develop their business practices globally.


The greatest concern over this bill is that it uses international human rights law, rather than our own consitution, as a framework. The larger issue with that is the lack of concern over the 4th Amendment, and the right to protect our privacy from an illegal search and seizure. Privacy advocates rightfully express concern over the bill granting governments the ability to gain backdoor access into anyone's communications due to the recipriocal communications demands.

  • Mass Surveillance