The United States and Australia entered into a landmark agreement to share electronic data for the investigation of serious criminal offences including child sexual abuse and ransomware attacks.

The agreement intends to provide the law enforcement agencies of both nations timely access to electronic data that would help them prevent, detect, investigate and prosecute serious crimes. It helps the authorities to more efficiently receive data from communication service providers of other nations’ jurisdictions, thereby reducing the time taken to obtain such information relating to the ongoing investigation. 

The agreement between the nations is authorized under the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act, 2018.

According to US Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, the agreement facilitates the cross-border transfer of data efficiently between the US and Australia that would help them effectively counter serious crimes. He further said that the agreement also protects the privacy and civil liberties of both nations.

Earlier the US and Australia together have also carried on Operation Ironside, known as Operation Trojan Shield in the US, where the Australian Federal Police and FBI are already capable of detecting and destroying serious organized crime networks that used digital techniques.

Australia’s Minister for Home Affairs, Karen Andrews was of the view that such agreement strengthens both the nations’ ability to fight crimes thus ensuring the safety, security, and prosperity of its citizens.

The CLOUD Act agreement will now undergo Parliamentary and Congressional review processes of both countries.

By- Shubham Kumar

 (Content Writer, WCSF)

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