A Victory for Judicial Redress
Congress has taken major steps forward this week to continue rebuilding America’s bruised relationships with European allies while keeping lines of communications open between international law enforcement agencies.
For many years, the United States and European Union have worked together to secure data protection for their citizens under agreements known as Safe Harbor. However, after the European Court of Justice issued a landmark ruling invalidating the agreement because of privacy concerns, the future of the relationship became uncertain.
Last year, I introduced the Judicial Redress Act of 2015 – a bill that provides our allies with limited remedies relative to data they share with the United States —similar to those American citizens enjoy under the Privacy Act. It is a way to support our foreign allies and ensure the continued sharing of law enforcement data. Specifically, the bill will give citizens of covered countries the ability to correct flawed information in their records and access to U.S. courts if the U.S. government unlawfully discloses their personal information.
America’s colleagues in Europe emphasized that the passage of the Judicial Redress Act would be critical to negotiating a new agreement, central to their willingness to continue sharing law enforcement data with the United States, and necessary to improving relations between nations.
I’m proud to say that this week, both the House of Representatives and the Senate passed the Judicial Redress Act and it now heads to President Obama’s desk. I’m optimistic that the bill will be signed into law, completing a critical agreement with our allies and securing a safer future for the United States.