After years of conflict, a new data sharing agreement between the United Kingdom and the United States has come into force.
The new legislation, dubbed the Data Access Agreement, permits UK and US law enforcement to request data stored by telecoms providers in each other''s jurisdictions.
These new powers are hoped to be used for the sole purpose of preventing, investigating, and prosecuting serious terrorism and child exploitation.
How does the pact work?
The agreement relates to the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Data, orCLOUD Act, which was passed by the US congress in an attempt to facilitate bilateral data sharing agreements with foreign partners. "They have solid protections for privacy and civil liberties."
Although the measure is intended to help with cross-border data sharing, neither US nor UK officials will be able to direct request data relating to the other country''s citizens.
While the US Department of Justice''s Office of International Affairs (OIA) will handle implementation in its own region, the UK Home Office''s Investigatory Powers Unit will understand how the agreement is implemented in the United Kingdom.
The agreement has received numerous criticized points.
In a tweet, a digital human rights organization Fight for the Future said that the #CLOUD Act is threatening your privacy, but large tech businesses want Congress to take it right into law.
In a paper for the Brooklyn Journal of international law, Tim Cochrane, a PhD candidate, said that "The rights-enhancing goals of Cloud Act agreements should be recognised."
"Totusi, there is a lot more need to be accomplished"
"The actual protection gaps under the US-UK Agreement are threatening to deter [third-country persons], c.h., the majority of individuals around the world," he said.
Despite the fact that similar rules may not be used in the future, it is unlikely to.
The United States and Canada have entered formal negotiations for a bilateral agreement under the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act in March 2002.
In December 2021, the United States and Australia signed a similar arrangement, which is still under review.