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A measure signed into law Friday by President Donald Trump changes the rules for cross-border law enforcement requests to internet firms and could render moot a long-running court battle between the US government and Microsoft.The CLOUD Act, inserted in a massive spending bill signed by the president, was designed to streamline the process for law enforcement seeking digital evidence, but it has been roundly criticized by civil liberties and digital rights activists.The legislation -- Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data -- was backed by Microsoft and other major tech companies, which reasoned that it provides a clear legal framework for handing over data both to US authorities and to foreign governments.Some analysts say the new law will enable the Supreme Court to sidestep a difficult choice -- whether to give the US government broad authority to obtain data stored anywhere, or allowing cloud firms to keep data out of reach for law enforcement.
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