When Hillary was a kid a server was either someone who brought you dinner or maybe a tennis player. Today servers have taken a much larger role in our world and Hillary probably wishes they were only a waiter or a sport. In 2015, servers contain all kinds of digital data. They store the good, the bad, and the illegal. So when law enforcement wants to get a look at, for instance, your emails, they need access to the server. This is where it gets dicey. Our beloved Hillary, or as I like to call her, Hilz, recently stated she knows nothing about wiping servers, like with a cloth or something? Too funny. Turns out wiping servers can be trickier than she thought. No one understands the cloud, but ole Hilz is sure learning about the lightning.
One good thing to come out Hillary’s email scandal besides watching her take one on the chin, is that it has elevated the discussion about how badly we need reform in relation to data storage. We are operating under a 30 year old statute called the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). It was passed when phones were still in bags, mail still came in paper envelopes, and AOL was dominating the dial up internet. It’s time to shine a light on how we handle the ownership of data. There have been a couple bills brought up to do just that. One is called the LEADS Act, the other is the Email Privacy Act. Read a detailed account of each here. I’m sure Hillary is a big fan of both, as she would just as soon see her private emails remain private, or at least force law enforcement to act appropriately. Who doesn’t want that?
Digital material is still private property, sort of. When it’s stored by an American citizen on a server located in a foreign country it can spark an international uproar as two nations fight over access leaving the service provider stuck in the middle and the citizen with no rights. The LEADS Act is the best way to bring the legal intricacies of the data storage into the age of the cloud. It clearly details how data can be accessed, the correct use of warrants, and gives a framework for two nations to fall back on when disputing access.
Love Hilz or hate her, she has definitely made the topic of data storage front page news. It still is so boring that no one really cares. I think I might be the only person to write about the LEADS Act more than once. No one really cares about this stuff, until it’s their email someone wants to access. Then they’ll care. Sort of like how everyone loves to hate lawyers until five seconds after they are in trouble. At that moment, a lawyer becomes your best friend. Most of us don’t know or care where our data is stored. With a cool name like The Cloud, who knows were that is, but sure sounds awesome? I personally think all data stored in The Cloud is actually being watched over by Lando in a galaxy far, far away. That is a sweet fantasy and pretty close to reality. I have no idea where all my emails and data are stored. It could actually be in The Cloud City or it could be Ireland or Mexico for all I know.
The point is, we need legislation like the LEADS Act, to protect our constitutional rights as citizens, to protect the companies storing the data, and keep two nations from using data as international leverage. Here’s how to look smart at Thanksgiving. When people start talking about Hilz and her poor lost emails say something like, that is exactly why we need the LEADS Act, am I right? Try not to laugh as the conversation halts and you get the deer in the headlights look from everyone. If you can keep a straight face, maybe your crazy uncle or annoying brother-in-law will bite and try to act they know all about it, but you’ll have them. Eat turkey and enjoy a small victory. The LEADS Act, good legislation for America, and great ammo for Thanksgiving politics!