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International: UK-US data access agreement enters into force

The U.S. Department of Justice ('DoJ') announced, on 3 October 2022, that the Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on Access to Electronic Data for the Purpose of Countering Serious Crime entered into force on the same day. In particular, the DoJ outlined that the agreement, as authorised by the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act of 2018 ('the CLOUD Act'), is the first of its kind, and will allow investigators from either country to gain access to data relating to serious crimes in a way which respects privacy and civil liberties.

Moreover, the DoJ highlighted that, under the agreement, service providers in one country may respond to qualifying, lawful orders for electronic data issued by service providers in the other country, notwithstanding any legal restrictions. Furthermore, the DoJ added that this will allow for more timely and efficient access to electronic data and will greatly enhance the ability of the US and the UK to tackle serious crime. Additionally, the DoJ noted requirements that must be met by US or UK authorities to invoke the agreement, namely that authorities from either country must not target individuals located in the other country and that this must relate to a serious crime, among other requirements, limitations, and conditions.

You can read the announcement here.