Recently, a new act by the name of CLOUD (Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data) Act was passed in the United States assembly with the intent of enabling law enforcement officials to access for the investigations by involving ISP participation.
What people failed to realize is that the CLOUD Act was much more than this. The behind the scenes clearly shows how civil liberties and freedoms of the internet are being chipped away from citizens and users alike. It also has a far-reaching consequence on the dark web users.
How the bill became an act?
In essence, every law enforcement agencies want to have complete power, control and regulation over things like the internet. And the constant shift in the boundaries of the internet tends to create a headache for them. Nonetheless, the CLOUD Act was passed on as a law through a classic political trick of attaching appendix legislation to a massive budget like that of the Omnibus Budget Spending Bill.
It should be stated that most of the US States cannot continue to function further without the passing of this bill. The method of passing the bill in this manner gives little to no time for any government official to read and comprehend the bill before voting it. Secondly, it provides almost no time for regulators and debaters to have a proper discussion and debate on the bill before passing it. The digital privacy rights organizations were alarmed after the CLOUD Act become public. Any senator who would stand against this bill for the act, no matter how minor it may seem in respect to the major budgetary necessity, would be ostracized from their party and nation.
The CLOUD Act and its effect on the Dark Web
One of the major differences between the clear net and the dark net is the anonymity. A user can be anonymous when creating his/her account, and also during payment (which is in the form of cryptocurrency). The dark web runs on servers which host OpenLeaf or ShyServers. There is little to no oversight of the information and content on the deep web, however, the abusive content is still considered illegal. The CLOUD Act does not provide any new tools or technologies to the law enforcement agencies to tackle any technical slags they face, nor does it helps in generating new avenues. The technical abilities of law enforcement agencies are beyond prosecutable.
Analysis of the effects of the CLOUD Act
But how does the CLOUD Act affect the common pupil? The loss of civil liberties and freedom of the users can have the last longing effect on the future usage of the internet. It will be like darkness descending down on the people in a slow, cold way to which they might eventually get accustomed to. This act was passed in rather undemocratic and controversial circumstances, and hence the consequences of this bill becoming a law knock trouble.
These laws do not gift law enforcement agencies ability to create new tools, but rather creates legal structures under which existing tools can be used lawfully. A similar case can be that of the FBI begging the court system to have backdoors installed lawfully in iPhones, which was refused. The FBI simply paid a private security contractor to have the iPhone encryption broken. As such, all these agencies can always find a way to the devices. The passing of the act just gives them legal rights to do so.
Now, under the CLOUD act, government and the law enforcement agencies can lawfully and quickly enter into any available server in any corner of the internet. They can access any citizen’s account on any server across the globe.
The Last Words
The deep web server naturally piggyback off legitimate servers companies and private networks, and this puts them in the crosshairs of the US officials and gives them legal right to intrude the servers with the tools and technologies they have had in their disposal all these years. The government can now push down their weight of the investigation even further with the tools they had no previous legal rights to use so, and this gives them an unhinged and unchecked power and control. This is troublesome for the common pupil. The privacy of advocates is even in danger.