After four years of secret negotiations, the United Kingdom and the United States finally published the text of their data exchange agreement on 7 October 2019, which aims to facilitate cross-border access to electronic data for the purpose of combating serious forms of crime. This long-awaited agreement is the first of the executive agreements provided for by the Act ON THE NUAGE. As I rightly said, „it is essential not only to create a window into the approach of the United States and the United Kingdom, but also, probably, a fundamental plan for other agreements that might follow.“ Indeed, the United States and the European Union have recently begun negotiations to reach an agreement in this area, while the United States and Australia have also announced that they have begun similar negotiations. This globalization of criminal evidence poses considerable challenges to prosecutions. Traditional cross-border mechanisms, such as mutual legal aid contracts, are widely seen as too slow and complicated. In the explanatory statement of the agreement between the United Kingdom and the United States, it states that „the total time for the process [of a MLAT application submitted by Great Britain] is generally one year, but can be one year.“ „Criminal activity continues and victims continue to be injured.“ The agreement between the United Kingdom and the United States is therefore intended to propose a paradigm shift: instead of requesting electronic information on the tedious intergovernmental mechanism of MlATs, the parties could request the data directly from the CPs under several conditions and guarantees, under several conditions and guarantees. This is precisely the logic of the draft regulation and directive on e-emptince, which is currently being discussed at EU level (previously discussed on this blog and elsewhere, see here and here). The agreement between the United Kingdom and the United States will be particularly beneficial for the United Kingdom: it is based on the second part of the Cloud Act, which allows like-minded countries to enter into an executive agreement on the cloud act with the United States to directly request relevant communication content from U.S. providers to investigate „serious violations“ and subject to several other restrictions and conditions. In other words, with this agreement, the UK will now overcome the blocking clauses of the Stored Communications Act, which also prohibits US service providers from transmitting communication content to a foreign government (for a detailed explanation of how it works, click here).