Government Affairs Blog

April 26, 2018

HOW WILL THE PROPOSED EU PRODUCTION ORDER AND THE US CLOUD ACT AFFECT INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS SERVICE PROVIDERS?

The European Commission just proposed legislation to solve the problem faced by European law enforcement agencies (LEAs) when they try to collect investigative data such as emails and text messages stored by communication service providers (CSPs) in foreign data centers.  The proposal, called the EU Production Order, would potentially replace existing investigative channels such as mutual legal assistance treaties, or “MLAT” treaties, which are considered slow and unreliable. The US recently enacted a similar law called the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act, also known as the “Cloud Act.”  How would the Production Order and the Cloud Act affect international CSPs?

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February 8, 2018

THE COMPLEX WORLD OF PRIVACY PROTECTION: WHAT INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS SERVICE PROVIDERS MUST KNOW

In 2018 two new privacy laws take effect in the European Union.  One is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which upgrades the general EU standards of privacy protection. Included in the GDPR’s scope of coverage are communication service providers (CSPs). The other new privacy law is the Data Protection Directive on Police Matters (the EU Directive), which requires EU law enforcement agencies (LEAs) to protect privacy when conducting criminal investigations. The EU Directive gives each EU member state discretion to interpret the principles of the Directive in its own national laws. As a result, EU investigative privacy standards will likely vary from one state to the next.

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December 13, 2017

WILL THE SUPREME COURT RAISE THE BAR FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT COLLECTION OF SUBSCRIBER LOCATION DATA?

The Supreme Court is now hearing a case that poses the question: what level of due process should a law enforcement agency (LEA) be required to meet before asking a communication service provider (CSP) to produce a criminal suspect’s historic cell phone location data? Based on the Court’s recent oral argument in the case, called Carpenter v. United States, it appears somewhat likely they will subject such location inquiries to the top-level “probable cause” standard. Why are the justices heading in that legal direction, and what would it mean for CSPs?

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November 9, 2017

HOW CAN AN INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATION SERVICE PROVIDER AVOID INTERNATIONAL CONFLICTS OF SURVEILLANCE LAWS?

As US communication service providers (CSPs) increasingly enter foreign markets they become subject to foreign mandates for lawful electronic surveillance, otherwise known as lawful interception or “LI.”  The US LI mandate was not designed in coordination with foreign LI mandates.  As a result, an LI validly authorized in the US may be deemed illegally implemented on another country’s soil. How can an international CSP avoid these conflicts of law?

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October 4, 2017

WHY ARE DEMANDS FOR PUBLIC SAFETY AND PRIVACY COLLIDING ON THE US-EU INTERNET HIGHWAY?

The US and European Union have struggled for years to maintain open channels of Internet communications while reconciling growing demands for public safety and communications privacy.  This year the needs of trans-Atlantic public safety and privacy are headed for a collision.  What’s the conflict?

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