In the oral arguments before the Supreme Court in United States v. Microsoft Corp., the justices couldn’t help but wonder whether the parties were at the wrong government building. Wouldn’t it be better, they asked, if the case at hand was rectified by Congress instead?

A few weeks later, Congress agreed, passing The Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act as part of its $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill. The bill amends the Stored Communications Act (SCA) with language that would compel U.S. providers “of electronic communication service or remote computing” to comply with authorities’ legal requests to access information belonging to U.S. persons but stored outside of the country.

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