Can the U.S. government issue a legal warrant to require a U.S. company to retrieve overseas communications data from its foreign customers?  As consumer information resides in the cloud, overseas or domestically, and in various electronic forms, establishing what access the government should have to private communications and how the government should work with its foreign counterparts becomes increasingly important in this tech age.

To that end, Senators Hatch, Coons, Graham and Whitehouse, along with their House counterparts, have introduced new legislation — the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act.  Today, a group of think tanks have sent a letter to the House and Senate leadership calling attention to the importance of this issue and asking for consider by members.

Setting guidelines for cross-border data access by the U.S. and foreign law enforcement is an important start. The letter is discussed here.