back to article Do you run on a cloud Down Under, where data's shared and governments plunder... Oz joins US, UK in info search-warrant law

Add Australia to the ranks of countries agreeing to honor US search warrants under America's CLOUD Act. The Down Under Five Eyes member on Monday announced it had agreed to the bilateral agreement formally known as the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act, just one week after the US struck a similar alliance with …

  1. sbt Silver badge

    Not sure we're "likeminded countries"

    I'm no lawyer, but it seems dangerous to accept unfiltered the judicial actions of other countries. Almost a violation of sovereignty. How can subjects fight foreign warrants? Isn't this the whole reason we have extradition treaties, where a local judge rules first on the validity of the request, before the subject is given up to the foreign power? Shouldn't the same apply to data with evidentiary value?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Not sure we're "likeminded countries"

      >Almost a violation of sovereignty.

      I don't think British people are all that bothered about some foreign court have over-rulling jurisdiction over their own national instituions. Certainly nothing to get all worked up about

      And if it meant a trade deal that reduced the 25% duty on Scotch I'm sure they would be happy to roll over

      1. NoneSuch Silver badge

        Re: Not sure we're "likeminded countries"

        "When police are investigating a terrorist plot or serious crime such as child exploitation, they need to be able to move forward without delay,"

        By terrorist plot or serious crime, they mean whistleblowers, the press or anything else that threatens their re-election.

    2. Sampler

      Re: Not sure we're "likeminded countries"

      Isn't it data on foreign servers, rather than data on foreigners.

      Like the example given, Australia asked Facebook for information on an Australian, just the data is held on the US server (which wouldn't make sense, as Facebook would have local replication, but that's the example given)

      1. sbt Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        It's the equivalent of redition, not extradition.

        Yes, it's data on foreign servers. But the subject of the warrant (Facebook in your example) can't get justice in their local jurisdiction. It seems less of an issue for global orgs, but what if it was a local ISP?

        For example, if the same treaty were in place for people, it would have allowed the Australian government to obtain Assange from the UK just by issuing a warrant; there would have been no judicial scrutiny in the U.K (Yes, I'm ignoring the subsequent bail-jump for the purposes of this example).

        1. sbt Silver badge



      2. LDS Silver badge

        Re: Not sure we're "likeminded countries"

        There's a subtle difference but important - US will be able to ask data about everybody with very little control, while the other countries have to be very, very careful about asking data about US citizens...

        1. Augie

          Re: Not sure we're "likeminded countries"

          Heaven forbid...US are whiter than white...

          Perhaps when they honour sending Anne Sacoolas to face UK justice then we reciprocate.

          Because at the moment it seems awfully one sided.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Not sure we're "likeminded countries"

            >Because at the moment it seems awfully one sided.

            Security deals are not one sided- they are simply weighted by the number of aircraft carrier battle fleets one has at one's disposal

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Not sure we're "likeminded countries"

              So we might only get access at some point in the future when our carriers have usable aircraft?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not sure we're "likeminded countries"

        "which wouldn't make sense, as Facebook would have local replication, but that's the example given"

        This is likely to be exactly what they mean - while Facebook cache recently accessed/produced content as close to the user as possible, the majority of content (particularly historical content) is hosted in the US for analytics etc.

        If you mean that only recently accessed content would be required for fighting terrorism and child pornography, then maybe they are just convenient examples to trigger fear rather than the actual intention of the laws.

        1. Sanctimonious Prick

          Re: Not sure we're "likeminded countries"

          I wonder what the impact would be if FB did a MS and used servers in Ireland instead of the US?

  2. earl grey

    likeminded countries

    kiss my shiny metal ass.

  3. Chris G Silver badge

    Robust protections

    He said it, so it must be true, right?

    I never realised that the Patriot Act, the snooper's charter and governments making end to end encryption illegal constituted robust protections for their citizens.

    Freedom through the reduction of ....freedom.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Robust protections

      "Freedom through the reduction of ....freedom."

      Exactly that. As Orwellian as it gets. And these people use terms like this *on purpose*, fully knowing what they say.

      Orwell must be spinning in his grave: He never thought his books would actually be used as tutorial.

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "respond to lawful orders [..] without fear of running afoul of restrictions on disclosure"

    Of course there will be no fear of "running afoul of restrictions on disclosure", those restrictions are being removed.

    I'm quite sure that this "agreement" is just a tool to simplify things for the US to go on fishing expeditions abroad. I'm also pretty certain that Australia is in for a rude surprise when they ask for data on a US citizen - they won't get it and will instead get a lot of bla bla about how their request is not relevant, badly formulated, not within the proper time frame, etc.

    The US is expert on making everyone else kiss their ass, but avoiding doing any ass-kissing themselves.

  5. Mephistro

    "...the US struck a similar alliance with the UK."

    And that was the last nail in the coffin for open data flows between the UK and the EU, post B***** .

    PD:Sorry for bringing the B word into this discussion, but IMHO it's an important factor.

  6. Christoph

    Is there any provision for publishing statistics of the subpoenas? For instance, how many times the US has demanded the private information of people in the UK but insisted that this must be kept secret from the victim?

    1. Chris G Silver badge


      If there should be any such provision, you can be sure that when statistics are published they will be redacted to the point that the report will only have value as back up toilet paper.

  7. sinsi

    Seems like a nice way for the copyright trolls to bypass the Australian courts...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Barr and Dutton. Same fellows who said that you must not have end to end encryption, anywhere.

    How I'm not surprised at all.

  9. Oengus

    A step too far

    Listening to the news today I found it hard to believe that the US government are saying that the data sharing is at risk because of the lack of judicial oversight...

    Sydney Morning Herald article

  10. RunawayLoop

    Peter Dutton. A man who heads up Australia's 'Home Affairs' department, which is quite powerful as it includes police, immigration and border security sections.

    Previously Dutton intervened in his own border security staff decision to deport two British au-pairs from Australia due to a suspicion they were not tourists but actually here to work in Australia. Working on a tourist visa is ILLEGAL in Australia (ok remember that part for later). Dutton *allegedly* received phone calls from two party donors to grant the two au-pairs tourist visa, so they could gain entry to the country. Dutton knew that actually these two au-pairs would go to WORK for the party donors which is ILLEGAL in Australia (remember I told you earlier). So in effect Dutton was complicit in enabling a crime (x2). Our police and jurdiciary have not bothered to do anything about this ILLEGAL behaviour by a government MINISTER.

    Also recently Dutton effectively said the climate activists should be DOXXED and their families (effectively) harrassed,

    Keep in mind that the right to protest is a fundamental part of any functioning democracy, a concept which Dutton appears to be unaware of despite being a government MINISTER.

    Cyberbullying laws in Australia are supposed to prevent this type of harrassment, yet once again, this potentially CRIMINAL behaviour goes unnoticed by authorities.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021