Unsurprisingly, the initial reactions to the announcement of the agreement between Britain and the United States drew mixed reviews. Jennifer Daskal and Peter Swire welcomed an agreement that contains „a fairly high number of privacy and civil liberties safeguards that go beyond the text of the CLOUD Act.“ On the contrary, the Electronic Frontier Foundation spoke of a „race to the bottom“ (a comment made before the publication of the contract text), while others were concerned about so-called „cowboy practices“ (!). While Congressman Doug Collins welcomed the agreement in the United States, some MEPs expressed their concerns and submitted a written question to the European Commission. The aim of this document will therefore be to unpack as much as possible the terms of the agreement between Great Britain and the United States, not only to understand the fundamental mechanisms underlying it, but also to examine what international law is and certain human rights issues, particularly from the point of view of European law. This in turn could help to assess the differences between the agreement between Britain and the United States and the draft agreement between the EU and the United States on this subject, which has recently begun negotiations. The Open Spaces Agreements (ASA) are a kind of legal agreement established by the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 (and subsequent congressional authorizations) that authorizes NASA to cooperate in a single way with any entity authorizing the execution of the administration`s mandate. Still in the authorization granted in 2010 by (Pub.L. 111-314 (text) (pdf): The other party to an executive agreement is the „qualifying foreign government“.“ The definition of the latter is defined in two parts of the Cloud Act: Section 2703 and Section 2523. Indeed, under section 2703 of the Cloud Act, a foreign government is one: this globalization of criminal evidence poses considerable challenges to prosecutions. Traditional cross-border mechanisms, such as mutual legal aid contracts, are widely seen as too slow and complicated.
In the explanatory statement of the agreement between the United Kingdom and the United States, it states that „the total time for the process [of a MLAT application submitted by Great Britain] is generally one year, but can be one year.“ „Criminal activity continues and victims continue to be injured.“ The agreement between the United Kingdom and the United States is therefore intended to propose a paradigm shift: instead of requesting electronic information on the tedious intergovernmental mechanism of MlATs, the parties could request the data directly from the CPs under several conditions and guarantees, under several conditions and guarantees. This is precisely the logic of the draft regulation and directive on e-emptince, which is currently being discussed at EU level (previously discussed on this blog and elsewhere, see here and here). The agreement between the United Kingdom and the United States will be particularly beneficial for the United Kingdom: it is based on the second part of the Cloud Act, which allows like-minded countries to enter into an executive agreement on the cloud act with the United States to directly request relevant communication content from U.S. providers to investigate „serious violations“ and subject to several other restrictions and conditions. In other words, with this agreement, the UK will now overcome the blocking clauses of the Stored Communications Act, which also prohibits US service providers from transmitting communication content to a foreign government (for a detailed explanation of how it works, click here).