On 4th October, a news release from the Home Office was concerned with an historic agreement that will enable British law enforcement agencies to directly demand electronic data relating to terrorists, child sexual abusers and other serious criminals from US tech firms. It is said that the UK-US Bilateral Data Access Agreement will dramatically speed up investigations and prosecutions by enabling law enforcement, with appropriate authorisation, to go directly to the tech companies to access data, rather than through governments, which can take years. The current process, using Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA), can often take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, but it is said that once in place, the Agreement will see the process reduced to a matter of weeks or even days. The US will have reciprocal access, under a US court order, to data from UK communication service providers.
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