All British government data will soon be available to the CIA, the NSA and other American intelligence agencies thanks to the extension of a controversial spy law.
The European Union has warned that security will be compromised as U.S. intelligence agencies now have the legal right to examine all data stored on U.S. owned Cloud services.
A new amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) will allow the US government to monitor activists, journalists, politicians and others across Europe and elsewhere, including information stored on the G Cloud; local authority records, ministerial files and public sector data, not to mention that medical and criminal records will be available.
The British government wants the majority of State information to be held on the G Cloud, as well as data belonging to the Bank of England, schools, charities, the BBC and the police.
As it currently stands, the US can legally monitor emails and phone calls without a warrant but the amendment now mentions the use of “remote computing services,” but does not specify what this means.
Potentially, your information can be accessed as soon as you send data through a server that’s owned by an American company.
Last month Conservative MP David Davis told The Independent:
“The Americans have got to remember who their allies are and who their enemies are.”
And warned of:
“A whole cascade of constitutional and privacy concerns for ordinary British people.”
Julian Huppert of the Liberal Democrats has also spoken out against the invasive law:
“A lot of people wouldn’t realize where data is stored, and hence wouldn’t expect to be subject to U.S. law. If the U.S. will not give a clear assurance about government data. Then we will have to stop using the Cloud, as we cannot allow that to happen.”
A report for the European Parliament criticised FISA, saying the law has:
“Very strong implications on EU data sovereignty and the protection of its citizens’ rights.” And it says the amendments specifically target real-time communications and Cloud data linked to “foreign-based political organizations.”
Former chief privacy adviser to Microsoft Europe and co-author of the report, Caspar Bowden, says that FISA is effectively:
“A carte blanche for anything that furthers U.S. foreign policy interests.”