Today Senator Orrin Hatch announced he will introduce the Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad Act (LEADS Act). This legislation is critical for the future of American companies that provide or use cloud services abroad.

On behalf of ACT | The App Association and the more than 5,000 mobile app and software companies, Executive Director Morgan Reed released the following statement in support of the LEADS Act:

We applaud Senator Hatch for his leadership on issues facing the tech community and are proud to lend strong support for the LEADS Act. The legislation brings long overdue clarity to the treatment of stored communications, and goes a long way to protect individual privacy rights on a global scale.

Cloud computing is at the heart of the digital revolution, vastly improving the way we handle information technology, conduct business, and consume media. American technology companies are leaders in cloud services, both at home and abroad. Yet, our European allies are threatening to ban American cloud service providers over concerns that their citizens’ data isn’t safe when stored by companies within reach of U.S. law enforcement. The LEADS Act prevents this from happening.

The comprehensive legislation provides a much-needed legal framework by which data can be accessed abroad, updating and strengthening the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) process. Passage of the bill will effectively balance the needs of investigators and prosecutors with individual privacy protections. The future of the innovation economy requires trust from our trading partners and clearly defined limits for law enforcement. The LEADS Act does just that.

ACT | The App Association sent a letter of support to Senator Hatch that outlines how the LEADS Act strengthens consumer privacy rights, clearly defines the limits for law enforcement and allows technology companies to continue innovating. That letter can be accessed here.

ACT | The App Association is also part of a broader coalition of technology companies and associations that have lent strong support for the LEADS Act. The group’s joint statement can be accessed here.

Our members are protecting app sales abroad by supporting the LEADS Act. Advocate for consumer privacy rights and legal clarity for stored communications here.