By Betty Yirga
Elm Staff Writer
Congress is currently considering legislation called the Cloud Act, or Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act, which authorizes quicker access to internationally stored electronic data needed to prosecute serious crime and disrupt terrorist plots in the United States, Britain and elsewhere, according to Thomas P. Bossert’s article in The New York Times.
This legislation is crucial because, among the various issues of the world, the importance of international security remains one of the most critical measures taken by countries to ensure mutual safety and survival.
In today’s world, technological innovations are growing at faster rates than ever before. This opens the door for terrorist groups and criminals to be more creative with their attacks. Luckily, the U.S., Britain, and other foreign governments recognize that the lack of access to data stored outside the country limits the efforts of law enforcement to investigate crime and terrorism.
It is vital for countries to establish a solution that includes both liberal and realistic systemic levels of analyses. These countries intend to create an international coalition to increase security not only in the terms of military strength but also cybersecurity to prevent potential threats.
As acts of terrorism and organized crime continue to make headlines and annual death tolls rise, the lack of access to internationally stored data prevents countries from taking proper action to prevent threats made by these groups prior to their occurrence. For instance, “officials in one country investigating a serious crime with victims in that very same country cannot get data they need simply because it is on a server halfway across the world. The internet is moving fast, and our legal constructs are not keeping up,” Bossert said.
These rapid technological developments give terrorists and criminals the opportunity to mobilize unnoticed across borders to execute global threats. At this point, security can clearly no longer be seen as zero-sum involving individual states alone; rather, it is now a multi-sum security principle. The sooner this collective problem is addressed, the less “mutual public safety and national security will be undermined by the current legal obstacles to disclosure of data across borders,” according to Bossert.
The Cloud Act is designed to promote justice between nations that share a common dedication to protecting the safety and privacy of their citizens. For this reason, building an international system that gives countries access to data needed to investigate high crimes despite where it is stored will help speed up the process of identifying and preventing threats.
Generally speaking, thinking of security in multidimensional terms allows individuals to shift from prioritizing military issues, and instead look at more factors that contribute to international security issues.
The Cloud Act is a great example of how the security dilemma can be partially overcome through confidence-building measures, diplomacy, and international institutions. This legislation encourages countries to understand that the world is a variable-sum game and that they can work together to strengthen international security.