Posted by Gareth Icke Posted on 30 January 2020

U.K. Police Will Soon be able to Search Through U.S. Data Without Asking a Judge

‘Law enforcement officials in the U.S. and U.K. have negotiated a deal that sells out the privacy rights of the public in both nations. For Americans, it will effectively abrogate Fourth Amendment protections, and subject their data to search and seizure by foreign police.

This is all going to start happening in a few months—unless Congress does something to stop it now. That’s why we’re launching an action today, asking you to reach out to your members of Congress and tell them to introduce a joint resolution that could put a halt to the deal. If it isn’t stopped, the worst parts of this deal will likely come standard on future agreements, and Americans will be subject to more and more searches by foreign police.

The full text of the U.S.-U.K. Cloud Act Agreement was unveiled in November, and it’s just as bad as we thought it would be. We joined with 19 other privacy, civil liberties, and human rights organizations, and sent a letter to Congress going through the long list of problems with the first Cloud Act deal.

Some of the key problems with the U.S.-U.K. Agreement include:

  • The agreement includes a weak standard for review, that doesn’t meet the 4th Amendment’s warrant requirement
  • There’s no prior judicial authorization required
  • The deal includes no safeguards for free expression
  • The people put under surveillance don’t need to be notified, on any level
  • The “minimization” procedures meant to protect U.S. persons are unfair, unequal, and won’t do the job
  • It will grant real-time access to communications, allowing foreign police to wiretap Americans’ conversations, ignoring the high requirements for a wiretap under U.S. law
  • These extraordinary search powers given to foreign police can be used even for relatively low-level crimes’

Read more: U.K. Police Will Soon be able to Search Through U.S. Data Without Asking a Judge

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