Home Altcoins NewsFinance News Crypto Community Fears Passage of the CLOUD Act

Crypto Community Fears Passage of the CLOUD Act

cloud act crypto

The Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (the CLOUD Act) just passed, tucked deep inside a federal spending bill of well over $1 trillion. Its passing will now allows the United States government to have more access to private data for purposes of law enforcement. Foreign governments can also access private data that is stored by U.S technology firms. The CLOUD Act broadens the power of international law enforcement including on online activities, and this makes the cryptocurrency community very worried.

The bill had previously been opposed by various privacy advocates such as the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) which wrote after the bill passed, saying that “this final, tacked-on legislation is going to erode privacy protections across the globe.” Various US organizations had also opposed the bill. They considered the late addition into the Omnibus as lacking due process. The content of bill has also been seen as some backdoor way into the Fourth Amendment.

The Act was added to the federal spending bill Wednesday night before the vote on the voluminous (2,232 pages) bill took place Thursday. The bill passed 65 against 23 in the Senate, and 256 against 167 in the House.

On the day of voting, March 22, Senator Rand Paul posted a tweet saying that “Congress should reject this CLOUD Act since it doesn’t protect American’s privacy and human rights…” The tweet also suggested that the Act gives up Americans’ institutional role and only gives the attorney general, secretary of state, and the president way too much power. Senator Rand also pointed out that the Act also gives foreign governments too much power.

In yet another tweet, the Senator stated that Congress could not vote against the Act since it “got stuck into the Omnibus, without prior legislative review or action.”

The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) had on March 12 posted its own warning on the CLOUD Act, saying that the Act “undermines privacy among other human rights and important democratic safeguards as well.” This, the ACLU says, is because the Act bypasses Congress and the current stored data request procedures and “places authority on the executive branch.”

The content of CLOUD allows foreign governments to make deals with the U.S government which would let them contact US companies directly and request for private data. This, the EFF says, removes some layer of the necessary judicial review.

However, some voices seem happy with Act’s passing. On February 6, for instance, Microsoft, Google, Oath, Apple, and Facebook wrote a joint letter talking about the need for user protection that the CLOUD Act would give. The letter reads in part: “Our companies have for long advocated for an international agreement and a global solution to protect our clients and internet users across the world. We’ve often stressed that legislation and dialogue is a great approach. The CLOUD Act, if enacted, will be notable progress towards protecting consumer rights and will minimize conflicts of law.”

Microsoft posted another letter on March 21 supporting the bill saying that the Act “creates a legal framework regarding how law-enforcement agencies may access data globally.”

Andreas M. Antonopoulos, Bitcoin’s advocate, posted a tweet after the passing of the Act advising the public to “go dark.” “The CLOUD Act just passed. It destroys privacy…Encrypt. Encrypt…Go dark. When privacy gets criminalized, only criminals get privacy. We were sold out, again,” reads part of the tweet.

Read more about:
Share on

Steven Anderson

Steven is an explorer by heart – both in the physical and the digital realm. A traveler, Steven continues to visit new places throughout the year in the physical world, while in the digital realm has been instrumental in a number of Kickstarter projects. Technology attracts Steven and through his business acumen has gained financial profits as well as fame in his business niche. Send a tip to: 0x200294f120Cd883DE8f565a5D0C9a1EE4FB1b4E9

Crypto newsletter

Get the latest Crypto & Blockchain News in your inbox.

By clicking Subscribe, you agree to our Privacy Policy.