[Ed. – This is actually pretty significant. From the sound of it, it would enable the foreign agencies to gain the same cooperation, from the private companies that store information electronically, that our own national agencies can compel. In other words, if the FBI can compel an ISP or social media platform to provide info from customer accounts, Scotland Yard can also do so on the same basis (i.e., with constitutional protections, where applicable) — and vice versa.]
The United States and the United Kingdom entered into the world’s first ever CLOUD Act Agreement that will allow American and British law enforcement agencies, with appropriate authorization, to demand electronic data regarding serious crime, including terrorism, child sexual abuse, and cybercrime, directly from tech companies based in the other country, without legal barriers.
The current legal assistance process can take up to two years, but the Agreement will reduce this time period considerably, while protecting privacy and enhancing civil liberties. The historic agreement was signed by U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr and UK Home Secretary Priti Patel at a ceremony at the British Ambassador’s residence in Washington, D.C.
In March 2018, Congress passed the CLOUD Act, which authorizes the United States to enter into bilateral executive agreements with rights-respecting partners that lift each party’s legal barriers to the other party’s access to electronic data for certain criminal investigations.