A new essay by Berkeley Law Professor Rebecca Wexler for the Knight Institute’s “Data and Democracy” series notes growing asymmetries in data access in the criminal law context. In The CLOUD Act and the Accused, Wexler writes that police and prosecutors have broad powers to compel data disclosure from private companies, while defendants have little ability to gain access to potentially exculpatory data held by those same companies.
Wexler offers a path to begin remedying this asymmetry, arguing that courts should construe the CLOUD Act of 2018 to entitle criminal defendants to subpoena U.S. corporations for data stored on foreign servers.
Wexler also testified before Congress on July 19 at a hearing on “Digital Dragnets: Examining the Government’s Access to Your Personal Data.” You can watch the hearing here.
The “Data and Democracy” series is a partnership between the Knight Institute and the Law and Political Economy Project at Yale Law School and is edited by our former Senior Visiting Scholar Amy Kapczynski. You can read the full series here.
This post was originally published as a Twitter thread on @knightcolumbia.