Bipartisan, Bicameral LEADS Act Essential to the Future of Digital Privacy

Posted in Policy Reform

The bipartisan Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad (LEADS) Act of 2015, introduced today in the U.S. House of Representatives, offers essential reforms that rectify outdated privacy laws. We commend the sponsors – Reps. Tom Marino and Suzan DelBene – for introducing this critical legislation.

Today’s introduction builds on what is now bipartisan, bicameral momentum for this effort. Senators Orrin Hatch, Chris Coons and Dean Heller introduced the Senate companion of LEADS earlier this month.

The LEADS Act safeguards U.S. electronic data stored abroad, and establishes a balanced process for how the government can obtain data while honoring the liberties of other countries and abiding by individual privacy rights. Microsoft continues to be an active advocate for finding a balance between public safety and personal privacy – elements that are equally crucial to our national and global well-being. This bill presents an opportunity to take another step toward finding solutions that strike this balance. Further, the need for this legislation is clear: Data localization is being pursued by countries around the globe in the absence of congressional action to establish a rule of law. LEADs is also consistent with ongoing ECPA reform efforts supported by Microsoft.

Microsoft is strongly encouraged by this movement in the House. We thank Representatives Marino and DelBene for their leadership we look forward to continuing to work with them, Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Ranking Member John Conyers and all members of the House Judiciary Committee as the bill moves forward.

Posted by Fred Humphries
Vice President, U.S. Government Affairs, Microsoft