The United States Congress is passing a new bill, the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD).
Why does that concern us?
Well, it’s supposed to allow authorities to go into any company and just ask nicely for your data; this includes Apple, Amazon, and Facebook, which also owns WhatsApp.
Who is affected by this?
YOU! Yes, you, me and our privacy.
Although the Bill is being passed in the US, it can allow both the US and foreign countries to access your data, and this includes your chats, photos as well as your present and past locations.
Did you share some personal secrets, political opinion or passed on some philosophical views on life? Well, Trump will be reading them.
The bill has some clauses that state that any information being requested doesn’t need a warrant and has to be provided within 14 days unless a court allows the company to increase the deadline.
But let’s face it, it will take them less than 30 min to copy your data to a flash drive and deliver it to the authorities.
Moreover, companies are going to be required to backup and store all your data in conformity with the CLOUD Act.
In an open letter from Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Oath, these companies have stated their growing interest in letting the Bill pass, because this enables companies to relinquish their responsibility to protect users’ data, using the bill as their scapegoat.
US citizens are not happy about the Act and are already signing petitions to prevent it from being passed, but Congress is still moving forward by adding it to the “must-pass” list.
Here’s what you can do about this
Two months ago, the heads of three intelligence agencies in the US – NSA, CIA, and FBI – said on Twitter that Huawei was not recommended.
Today, this does not seem like a good idea.
In fact, Huawei is a company based in China, and as per the companies’ claims, your information is safely stored in China, far from the US. Huawei is not the only company that is providing a safe, secure service to the people.
Recently, Nokia came back with its Android phones. Nokia sold 4.4 million phones as of last year, according to TechRadar, while also keeping up with software updates that some companies continue to dismiss as being a problem.
Blackberry is still making phones, is based in Canada and its privacy settings are unrivaled in the tech industry. Its newest release, the Blackberry Motion, is not doing well, but after the CLOUD act, this might change as many are increasingly worried about their privacy.