Washington, D.C. — The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) is endorsing federal legislation known as the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act. It would confirm law enforcement’s ability to obtain probable-caused based warrants to search an individual’s email or other online account when the information is stored on a server outside the United States. The CLOUD Act would update and amend the Stored Communications Act (SCA).
State and local law enforcement agencies routinely use SCA warrants to investigate all manner of local crime, from drug trafficking to murder to child sexual exploitation. However, some service providers say SCA warrants can’t be enforced when the data is stored on a foreign server. The CLOUD Act would resolve this issue.
“We believe these specific amendments to the SCA are a reasonable solution to the acute problems that have arisen with respect to the collection of foreign-stored data,” reads the NAAG letter signed by 36 state attorneys general and sent today to U.S. Senate and House leadership.