U.K. Police Will Soon be able to Search Through U.S. Data Without Asking a Judge

Law enforcement officials in the U.S. and U.K. have negotiated a deal that sells out the privacy rights of the public in both nations. For Americans, it will effectively abrogate Fourth

Amendment protections, and subject their data to search and seizure by foreign police.

This is all going to start happening in a few monthsunless Congress does something to stop it now. Thats why were launching an action today, asking you to reach out to your members of Congress and tell them to introduce a joint resolution that could put a halt to the deal. If it isnt stopped, the worst parts of this deal will likely come standard on future agreements, and Americans will be subject to more and more searches by foreign police.


Tell Congress to Stop the U.S.-U.K. Cloud Act Deal

The full text of the U.S.-U.K. Cloud Act Agreement was unveiled in November, and its just as bad as we thought it would be. We joined with 19 other privacy, civil liberties, and human rights organizations, and sent a letter to Congress going through the long list of problems with the first Cloud Act deal.

Some of the key problems with the U.S.-U.K. Agreement include:

  • The agreement includes a weak standard for review, that doesnt meet the 4th Amendments warrant requirement
  • Theres no prior judicial authorization required
  • The deal includes no safeguards for free expression
  • The people put under surveillance dont need to be notified, on any level
  • The minimization procedures meant to protect U.S. persons are unfair, unequal, and wont do the job
  • It will grant real-time access to communications, allowing foreign police to wiretap Americans conversations, ignoring the high requirements for a wiretap under U.S. law
  • These extraordinary search powers given to foreign police can be used even for relatively low-level crimes

In colonial times, the British military used general warrants to search through houses and seize property. This practice was part of what fueled the American Revolution, and formed the basis for the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Congress shouldnt let an executive agreement, negotiated behind closed doors, give away rights that have been enshrined in U.S. law for nearly 250 years.