The enactment of the USA FREEDOM Act was news unto itself. However, the impact that the surveillance reform legislation may have on cross-border data transfers could turn out to be newsworthy as well. In this post, we summarize some important elements of the legislation and explore the USA FREEDOM Act’s potential to influence more than government surveillance practices.
Two federal appeals courts recently published significant opinions that redefine the scope of government access to phone records, setting the stage for a complex debate in Congress over the future of bulk data collection under the Patriot Act. The pair of decisions, along with the outcome of a legislative debate that has roiled Congress this month, will define the permissible boundaries for government surveillance and contribute to the ongoing debate over government access to digital information in all forms. We summarize both decisions as well as the congressional debate below.