The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

Bill Addresses International Challenges to Online Privacy

The WasteWatcher is the staff blog of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW). For questions, contact blog@cagw.org.


American businesses have taken the lead in cloud computing technologies, enabling citizens around the world to communicate with each other, store photos, videos, and documents with greater security and at lower costs. 

However, as this technology continues to evolve, challenges in protecting individual privacy become more evident, including data of U.S. citizens that is stored abroad and data of foreign citizens held by U.S. companies outside the U.S.  To address these issues, Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) introduced H.R. 3718, the International Communications Privacy Act (ICPA), on September 8, 2017. 

This legislation would require U.S. law enforcement agencies to obtain a warrant for content of electronic communications stored remotely, and provides the legal framework that would allow authorities to obtain electronic communications of U.S. persons, regardless of where they are located.  The legislation also calls for the enhanced use of international agreements to assist law enforcement to obtain electronic communications relating to foreign nationals in certain circumstances.

Providing electronic communications providers legal certainty in protecting the privacy of their customers and complying with legal requests for information, while addressing the borderless nature of the internet.  The ICPA strikes the right balance between the legitimate needs of law enforcement and the privacy of American citizens.

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