The CLOUD act is included in the omnibus spending bill. Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, among others, introduced this act back in February but ran into trouble with privacy and human rights groups in America and around the world. Adding it into the omnibus bill provides cover to pass the act easily.
What is this act? It will allow police, without a warrant, to access data stored on data servers. This includes email, text messages, video from home security cameras, phone metadata (when and whom you called), what you bought and watched on the internet and any data you’ve uploaded to the cloud via your mobile phone, computer or home devices connected to the internet.
It will allow the U.S. president to enter into agreements with foreign countries. These countries then could get any U.S. citizen’s electronic data without a warrant. It also allows the foreign country to place wiretaps without a warrant, something U.S. police can’t do. The foreign government then can pass this wiretap information back to the U.S. It also allows foreign governments to gain access to their citizens’ data stored on U.S.-based computers. Hey dictator Erdogan of Turkey, need info on your citizens who don’t like you? Come and get it.
Bryan White, South Jordan