The CLOUD Act: Arguments For and Against  

The DOJ and Microsoft have both filed motions to dismiss as moot the seminal data privacy case before the Supreme Court this term, United States v. Microsoft Corp. At issue in the case is whether the warrant provisions of the Stored Communications Act (SCA) apply extraterritorially, such that they compel Microsoft, an electronic service provider to produce private electronic communications stored on servers in Ireland for the United States government. In their respective motions, the two parties agree that there was no longer a “live case or controversy” with respect to the question presented, due to a piece of recently-enacted legislation called the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (CLOUD Act). Congress attached the bipartisan legislation to an omnibus spending bill, and it was signed into law on March 23, 2018. The act states as follows: “A provider of electronic communication service or remote computing service shall comply with the obligations of…

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