JUDICIAL REDRESS ACT; Congressional Record Vol. 162, No. 19
(Senate - February 02, 2016)

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[Page S455]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                          JUDICIAL REDRESS ACT

  Mr. HATCH. Madam President, I rise today to emphasize the importance 
of the Judicial Redress Act. This is a bill that the Senate Judiciary 
Committee favorably reported last week by an overwhelmingly bipartisan 
vote of 
19 to 1.
  As I speak, the Senate majority and minority leaders are in the 
process of clearing this legislation by unanimous consent. I am 
optimistic the Senate will pass the Judicial Redress Act in the coming 
days and that ultimately we will send this legislation to the 
President's desk.
  I thank Senator Chris Murphy for introducing this important bill with 
me and for the broad support we have built among both Republicans and 
  I also wish to acknowledge the good work of Representatives Jim 
Sensenbrenner and John Conyers for their efforts in the House. They 
have been stalwarts in advancing this important legislation in the 
House of Representatives. It has been a true bipartisan, bicameral 
  Simply stated, the Judicial Redress Act would extend certain data 
protections and remedies available to U.S. citizens under the Privacy 
Act to European citizens by allowing them to correct flawed information 
in their records and, in rare instances, the option to pursue legal 
remedies if Federal agencies improperly disclose their data.
  Our legislation fights an inequity--a reciprocal benefit that has 
been withheld from our European allies with little justification. 
Cross-border data flows between the United States and Europe are the 
highest in the world. Today most countries in the European Union 
affirmatively provide data protection rights to Americans on European 
soil. Our European allies and their citizens should likewise have 
access to the core benefits of the Privacy Act when in the United 
States. It is the right and fair thing to do. Passing the Judicial 
Redress Act is critical to ratification of the Data Privacy and 
Protection Agreement, commonly called the ``umbrella agreement.'' This 
agreement allows for data transfers between European and American law 
enforcement officials for the purpose of fighting and investigating 
crime, including terrorism.
  European officials have said they will not ratify the umbrella 
agreement until Congress provides EU citizens with limited judicial 
redress. Our bill is key to providing reciprocity to our European 
allies and will serve as the catalyst to finalizing the long-awaited 
data protection deal.
  The U.S. Department of Justice, which supports this legislation, 
states that failure to finalize the umbrella agreement ``would 
dramatically reduce cooperation and significantly hinder 
counterterrorism efforts.'' Given the global state of affairs, we 
simply cannot risk losing the critical benefits of the umbrella 
  As chairman of the Senate Republican High-Tech Task Force, I am 
always seeking ways to keep our American technology industry at the 
forefront of the global economy. I am convinced that passing the 
Judicial Redress Act will build much needed good will with our European 
allies. We are currently negotiating a new safe harbor agreement--an 
international agreement that allows U.S. technology companies to move 
digital information between the European Union and the United States.
  For years, safe harbor rules have benefited U.S. technology companies 
that provide cloud services to their European customers. Without a safe 
harbor agreement, however, U.S. cloud-based companies seeking to do 
business in Europe would be forced to negotiate with 28 individual 
countries in the European Union over how their citizens' data is 
collected and stored. Such a requirement would disrupt and chill 
transatlantic business operations, jeopardize countless American jobs, 
and stifle American domestic innovation.
  Indeed, businesses of all sizes and in all sectors would face 
profound consequences if we do not conclude a new safe harbor 
  The economic damage would be significant and relatively immediate, 
and the consequences could be catastrophic, especially for small 
enterprises. Failure to reach an agreement would impact the economies 
of both the United States and our friends in the European Union.
  If we are unable to reach a final safe harbor agreement soon, 
Congress must be prepared to take appropriate action to ensure that 
these negative consequences do not come to fruition.
  In the meantime, it is critically important that Congress pass the 
Judicial Redress Act. I am pleased that the Senate is swiftly moving 
toward this end, and I am optimistic that we will have a successful 
resolution in the coming days.
  I thank my colleagues on both sides of the floor for their support in 
this effort.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from California.
  Mrs. BOXER. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that I be 
allowed to speak for up to 20 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.