The Internet has significantly increased access to the international marketplace and the odds are you or someone in your business interacts with international customers, vendors or colleagues on a regular basis. Using email may be one of the most cost effective and efficient ways to do that; however, you may be (or likely not) surprised that the way we all use internet and email today is vastly different then what was envisioned at its birth and the repercussions of which are having profound effects on our business community, and changing the expectation of privacy in the digital realm.
Given the sharp divergence from what legislators thought the internet would be in the 1980s, when the relevant laws were passed, and what the internet has become today, several members of Congress recently introduced the Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad Act (LEADS) to update the U.S. Government’s framework for access to digital data stored both at home and abroad.
The LEADS Act amends the Electronic Communications Privacy Act by addressing the conflict of laws for cloud services providers in order to comply with the Fourth Amendment, clarify international jurisdiction and reverse the closure of significant markets to U.S. businesses.
The LEADS Act is careful to ensure that law enforcement has the necessary tools to execute search warrants. Importantly, this long overdue legislative fix is distant from the rubric concerning national security instances.
As the LEADS Act works its way through Congress, the business community should be aware of all that is at stake.