The world’s economy is increasingly interconnected. Continued economic growth stems from companies being able to move data freely across borders without being caught between conflicting legal requirements.  Governments also face challenges in their efforts to protect public safety when data needed to conduct lawful investigations are stored in the cloud. Internet users, in turn, expect that their email will receive protections that are equivalent to those afforded paper documents. Therefore, the challenge we face is to develop a modern, efficient, transparent mechanism that protects reasonable expectations of user privacy when law enforcement demands access to the contents of electronic communications in the cloud.

Today, Representatives Tom Marino (R-PA) and Suzan DelBene (D-WA) introduced bipartisan legislation in the House to tackle this important problem.

Theirs is a companion to a bill introduced by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Dean Heller (R-NV), and Chris Coons (D-DE) earlier this month.

On behalf of Cisco, I’d like to thank these members for their leadership and to express support for the goals of their legislation.

The Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad (LEADS) Act offers a new framework for striking the balance between the government’s need to investigate crime and the Constitution’s protections against unreasonable search and seizure in the context of a globally connected world.

This proposal builds upon bipartisan efforts to amend the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) in both the House and the Senate, which we also support.

Cisco urges Congress to take up these important issues quickly.

We continue to believe that the security threats facing nations are real and significant, and governments need to be able to take steps to address these threats and protect their citizens against crime and terrorism. At the same time, we must update our laws so that they respect innovation and enable new technologies to grow.


Eric Wenger

Senior Director, Technology Policy

Global Government Affairs