Thoughts on Foreign Data Storage and the Patriot Act


Source: Verizon
Author: Randal Milch
Coverage Type: press release
Location:
Verizon Communications, 140 West St, New York, NY, 10007, United States

Verizon released a Transparency Report outlining the number of law enforcement requests for customer information that we received in 2013. In the report we noted that in 2013 we did not receive any demands from the United States government for data stored in other countries. Although we would not expect to receive any such demands, there are persistent myths and questions about the US government’s ability to access customer data stored in cloud servers outside the US.

Now is a good time to dispel these inaccuracies and address the questions, which have been exacerbated by the stream of news reports since last June about national intelligence activities in the US and elsewhere. Our view on the matter is simple: the US government cannot compel us to produce our customers’ data stored in data centers outside the US, and if it attempts to do so, we would challenge that attempt in court. So, where does this leave the government when it wants access to data stored outside the US? The short answer is the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty process, which the US government can -- and we understand does -- use to request assistance from local, in-country law enforcement, just as other governments around the world do.

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