Promoting Public Safety, Privacy, and the Rule of Law Around the World: The Purpose and Impact of the CLOUD Act [open pdf - 390KB]
From the Introduction: "The United States enacted the CLOUD [Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data] Act to speed access to electronic information held by U.S.- based global providers that is critical to our foreign partners' investigations of serious crime, ranging from terrorism and violent crime to sexual exploitation of children and cybercrime. [...] The CLOUD Act is designed to permit our foreign partners that have robust protections for privacy and civil liberties to enter into executive agreements with the United States to obtain access to this electronic evidence, wherever it happens to be located, in order to fight serious crime and terrorism. The CLOUD Act thus represents a new paradigm: an efficient, privacy and civil liberties-protective approach to ensure effective access to electronic data that lies beyond a requesting country's reach due to the revolution in electronic communications, recent innovations in the way global technology companies configure their systems, and the legacy of 20th century legal frameworks. The CLOUD Act authorizes executive agreements between the United States and trusted foreign partners that will make both nations' citizens safer, while at the same time ensuring a high level of protection of those citizens' rights."
U.S. Department of Justice: https://www.justice.gov/