June 22, 2017

Google pressuring authorities to gain access to more overseas data

US lawmakers are being pushed to update laws on how governments gain access to private data stored on international servers

As legal uncertainty swells worldwide over the involvement of governments handling data from foreign servers, leading tech conglomerate Google will press US officials to address the issue on Thursday.

In what can be described as mounting concern for both American law enforcement and Silicon Valley, the prevalent feeling is that the rules on how governments access confidential customer information stored on foreign servers are becoming redundant and in need of an update.

Current legal agreements involve a lengthy process in which law enforcement officials in other countries are required to file a diplomatic request for the data, following which the host country issues a warrant and retrieves the information. Google has raised questions about this process as they say criminal and terrorism investigations are being hindered by obsolete laws that make information sharing cumbersome.

Kent Walker, Google’s senior vice president and general counsel, underlined his firm belief in the critical nature of the situation by simply stating:

This couldn’t be a more urgent set of issues.

The California based company calls for permitting nations that commit to basic privacy, human rights and due process laws to request data directly from US providers without involving the US government. However, they are aware that any such upheaval of the law could take several months to come into effect.

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