Globalising electronic communication
Last year, the International Communications Privacy Act (ICPA) was introduced in the American senate. Specifically, “To amend title 18, United States Code, to safeguard data stored abroad, and for other purposes”.
Some points to consider:
- Awareness of the legal obligations in other jurisdictions outside your own
- Conflicts may arise between the user’s local laws and laws observed by the supplier
- US Congress will (probably) serve as the primary model, which other countries will follow
- External users of American technology need to be confident that their data is protected by the laws of their own country
The Bill: amends the federal criminal code by allowing a governmental entity to require providers of electronic communication services or remote computing services to disclose the contents of communications in electronic storage (e.g., the cloud), regardless of where those communications are located. Thus, a governmental entity may obtain a warrant for electronic communications stored outside of the United States if certain conditions for obtaining the warrant are met.
Limitations: the governmental entity has taken all reasonable steps to establish the nationality and location of the subscriber /customer whose communications are sought and that there are reasonable grounds to believe that such subscriber or customer is a U.S. person, a person physically located within the United States, or a national of a foreign country that has a law enforcement cooperation agreement with the United States.