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Office of the Vermont Attorney General

Attorney General TJ Donovan Hails Passage of Cloud Act

March 27, 2018

CONTACT: Ben Battles, Solicitor General, 802 828-3689

AG Donovan Led Coalition of 36 Attorneys General Urging Congress to Pass CLOUD ACT

The Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (“CLOUD”) Act was passed by Congress and signed into law last week. In February, the National Association of Attorneys General sent a letter urging Congress to pass the Act, which updates the federal law known as the Stored Communications Act (“SCA”). The bipartisan letter was sponsored by Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan and Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes and signed by the attorneys general of 34 other States. The CLOUD Act addresses when and under what conditions law enforcement may obtain data that an electronic communications provider has stored in a foreign country. The Act solves a problem that has led to litigation in courts around the country, from the Vermont state courts to the United States Supreme Court.

In the letter to Congress, the attorneys general wrote that the CLOUD Act “both confirms law enforcement’s ability to obtain probable-cause based warrants for electronic communications stored abroad and creates a clear avenue for service providers to challenge an SCA warrant that targets a foreign person and which would require a provider to violate foreign law. The Act also creates incentives for our foreign partners to enter into bilateral agreements that will facilitate cross-border criminal investigations, while ensuring that privacy and civil liberties are respected.”

Attorney General Donovan said: “The CLOUD Act will allow law enforcement to do their jobs. This is a bipartisan effort to promote public safety.”

Read the letter here.

The letter was joined by the attorneys general of Vermont, Utah, Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Last modified: March 27, 2018