Hatch speaks out on privacy for electronic communications, data stored abroad

Stock image, St. George News

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. Orrin Hatch, former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and chairman of the Senate Republican High-Tech Task Force, spoke Wednesday at the Media Institute on the Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad Act, following a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing focused on the issue of privacy for electronic communications.

On Wednesday morning’s hearing on the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, Hatch said:

As this morning’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing confirms, virtually everyone agrees that Americans should enjoy the same privacy protections in their online communications that they do in their offline communications. But Congress has not adequately updated the law since its enactment, and technological developments have resulted in disparate treatment between online and offline communications.”

On the implications of ECPA’s shortcomings and the administration’s position on data stored abroad:

While we do not yet know the outcome of this case, the government’s position regarding the reach of its warrant authority has significant implications for both the technology companies that store data abroad and the individuals and businesses whose data is stored.

The government’s position presents unique challenges for a number of industries, which increasingly face a conflict between American law and the laws of other countries. For example, when technology companies receive demands from U.S. law enforcement to turn over data on behalf of foreign customers, they are forced to make a difficult decision: either comply with the demand and satisfy U.S. law or risk violating the privacy laws of the host country.

How the shortcomings of current law and the administration’s position could affect media companies:

As media organizations, you are particularly sensitive to these issues. Here in the United States we respect free speech and media independence. Your newsrooms are free from government search or censure. Yet, because of this Administration’s position on the extraterritorial reach of warrants, your rights could be circumvented by foreign law enforcement agencies seeking to access your confidential information—even if it is stored in the United States.”

On the impact of the administrations far-reaching, extraterritorial policy:

Moreover, if federal officials can obtain e-mails stored anywhere in the world simply by serving a warrant on a provider subject to U.S. process, nothing stops governments in other countries—including China and Russia—from seeking e-mails of Americans stored in the U.S. from providers subject to Chinese and Russian process.

Lest you think there are no reciprocal or far-reaching consequences, imagine a scenario where China wants to access e-mails stored in the United States. Instead of going through established diplomatic channels or international treaties to obtain those e-mails, Chinese officials could go to a China-based company, like Ali Baba, and demand that it retrieve e-mails from its U.S. servers and turn them over.”

The need for the LEADS Act:

Without an appropriate legal framework, the current state of affairs regarding extraterritorial use of warrants puts the privacy of American citizens at risk.

That is why I introduced the LEADS Act: to promote international comity and law enforcement cooperation. To date, the bill has received broad bipartisan support in both the Senate and the House of Representatives and from trade associations and the business community.

The proposed legislation would clarify ECPA by stating that the U.S. government cannot compel the disclosure of data from U.S. providers stored abroad if (1) accessing that data would violate the laws of the country where it is stored or (2) the data is not associated with a U.S. person—that is, a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States, or a company incorporated in the United States.”

You can find the full speech here.

Submitted by the Offices of Sen. Orrin Hatch

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  • bobinrohnertpark September 17, 2015 at 7:45 am

    There is the Whorrid One, he is a hypocrite supreme.

  • SSTEED September 17, 2015 at 9:20 am

    In layman’s terms: This has nothing to do with you and me but Hatch is looking to get your support by applying pressure on your sensitive areas. This just as well be called the ipatriot act; a pretty title but inside it strips away your rights. I haven’t red it yet so I don’t really know what’s in it; but Hatch has a history of working for “companies incorporated in the United States”. He is funded by criminals who have plenty to hide so he is using this to take care of them. They can make the rules in their “other country” so it would be illegal for the US law enforcement agencies to access their data; because it violates the law in their country.

    • BIG GUY September 17, 2015 at 5:26 pm

      SSTEED, we are still waiting for the names of criminals you say are funding Sen. Hatch. It’s about time they were exposed.

  • BIG GUY September 17, 2015 at 11:44 am

    I read Hatch’s statements very differently from BOBINROHNERTPARK and SSTEED. Neither seems to address the issue. In my reading, anyone who opposes NSA keeping track of who they email, but not the contents of their email, should be livid about any foreign government being able to request and read all their email without U.S. approval or judicial review. This is a privacy issue. Sen. Hatch is clearly on the side of keeping the email of U.S. citizens (and any others using U.S. providers) stored in this country from being shipped to a foreign government. What’s not to like? Does anyone read this differently?
    SSTEED, please provide the names of the “criminals” who fund Sen. Hatch. They will make juicy reading.

    • mesaman September 17, 2015 at 5:20 pm

      He won’t, Big Guy. He uses the rhetoric of the liberals and actually believes it. As for the California Prune Picker, things are much better here than the sheep ground that became Rohnert Park. could be that’s why you moved here

  • SSTEED September 17, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    Look at you guys holding my feet to the fire. Its a good thing too because I get a little over-passionate about things sometimes. As for the names: well it is juicy but its not that easy. I can give a few to start with; guys like Steve Fienberg of Cerberus Capital , Ian Read of Pfizer, John Watson of Chevron, and all the good people at PhRMA; but the real crooks here, are the AIPAC people…
    “Orrin Hatch once said, ‘(Thomas) Dine, your genius is to play an invisible bass drum, and the Jews hear it when you play it.’ ”

    • BIG GUY September 18, 2015 at 6:16 am

      SSTEED, the “criminals” you list are CEOs of major American companies who donate money to many in Congress, not just to Sen. Hatch. It is virtually impossible to be elected to any Federal office these days without major donations. All politicians receive large donations; are they all corrupt? As for PhRMA, it is one of many “special interest” groups ranging from the Chamber of Commerce to the Sierra Club to the AFL-CIO that donate to candidates. Are all these groups “criminal” as well?
      You give the appearance of being anti-Semitic with your denunciation of Jews and of AIPAC in particular. Very few readers on this web site would regard former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke as a responsible provider of objective information. Duke’s denouncing Jews as controlling Congress is no more credible than Hilary Clinton’s “vast right-wing conspiracy.” Conspiracy theories are a hard sell in a country as large and diverse as ours.

      • SSTEED September 18, 2015 at 11:02 am

        As far as religion geos, I consider Judaism to be the most comprehensive and respectable one of all. From what I understand they study several religions and are willing to challenge themselves, and I absolutely respect that. But they are having done to them what has happened to the FLDS (and the Mormon church for that matter); which is where wealthy “special interest” groups infiltrate and take over the leadership positions and hijack the entire religion. Did you know that Monsanto owns part of the Mormon church? When I call these people criminals I’m not saying they broke the law, hell they wrote the law; but I am calling them criminals in an ethical sense. They seem to have no conscience when it comes to pillaging the earth and the people as well, as long as they can show higher profits every quarter. If you still think there is a difference between democrats and republicans then I am sorry for you. they are all actors working for the same company. I think you’ve been watching too much TV because two or more people conspiring to commit damage or harm to others is simply not a possibility right? Whatever happened to Enron? I don’t care if you think I’m racist, I don’t care if you think I’m anti-Semitic, I don’t care if I’m wrong; I am just looking for the truth, and for that reason I appreciate you challenging me.

  • beentheredonethat September 17, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    I think Snorin Orin just learned of Pac man and Space Invaders.

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