President Obama Signs Judicial Redress Act — What Does It Mean

President Obama Signs Judicial Redress Act — What Does It Mean?

President Obama signed the Judicial Redress Act into law on February 24. This act addresses certain aspects of “national security,” but what specifically?

On Wednesday, President Obama signed into motion H.R. 1428, better known as the Judicial Redress Act. White House correspondents recorded the signing event as the president gave his speech. You can watch his Judicial Redress Act speech in the video below.

If you don’t know about the specifics of the Judicial Redress Act, essentially, it regards “giving select U.S. allies the same protections under the Privacy Act offered to U.S. citizens,” as mentions SC Magazine. According to the source, it’s possibly a replacement for the Safe Harbor Agreement, which was rejected by the European Union in October, 2015.

The Safe Harbor Agreement “is the agreement under which tens of thousands of U.S. companies such as Microsoft, Facebook, and Twitter transfer personal data from the EU to the U.S.,” Forbes explained.

However, the Judicial Redress Act — as states the official site of the United States Congress — is described as follows.

“This bill authorizes the Department of Justice (DOJ) to designate foreign countries or regional economic integration organizations whose natural citizens may bring civil actions under the Privacy Act of 1974 against certain U.S. government agencies for purposes of accessing, amending, or redressing unlawful disclosures of records transferred from a foreign country to the United States to prevent, investigate, detect, or prosecute criminal offenses.

“The citizens of such countries or organizations may bring a civil action against: (1) U.S. agencies that intentionally or willfully violate conditions for disclosing records without the consent of the individual to whom the record pertains; and (2) U.S. agencies designated by DOJ, with the concurrence of the agency, that refuse an individual’s request to review or amend his or her records.”

As the Judicial Redress Act’s description further elaborates, it clarifies both remedies and revocations concerning the redress act’s beneficiaries.

“DOJ, with the concurrence of the Department of State, the Department of the Treasury, and the Department of Homeland Security, may designate countries or organizations whose citizens may pursue such civil remedies if the person’s country or organization: (1) has appropriate privacy protections for sharing information with the United States, as provided for in an agreement with the United States or as determined by DOJ; (2) permits the transfer of personal data for commercial purposes between its territory and the United States; and (3) has DOJ-certified data transfer policies that do not impede U.S. national security interests.

“A country’s designation may be revoked if it: (1) is not complying with a privacy protection agreement, (2) no longer has appropriate privacy protections for sharing information, (3) fails to meet requirements for transfers of personal data for commercial purposes, (4) no longer meets the DOJ’s transfer policy certification requirements, or (5) impedes the transfer of information to the United States (for purposes of reporting or preventing unlawful activity) by a private entity or person.”

The full Judicial Redress Act can be viewed from the extensive document at the U.S. Government Printing Office official website.

Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner also addresses the Judicial Redress Act in a public statement of his own, via his House of Representatives website. Essentially, Sensenbrenner says that this bill’s signing is set to strengthen relations between the United States and the European Union.

According to the congressman, it shows a “willingness to act in good faith” with the EU. Likewise, it secures communication between law enforcement branches and agencies regarding potential criminal threats and similar interests.

“This is a significant achievement for our country, our allies, and for the safety and security of the United States,” states Congressman Sensenbrenner.

In your opinion, do you think of the Judicial Redress Act? Feel free to express your thoughts in the comments.

[Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images News]

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