The Senate version of the Judicial Redress Act passed the House late Wednesday. It had passed the Senate, so now heads to the President's desk.
The bill extends privacy protections to the digital content of citizens of European nations (the ones designated as U.S. allies) whose data flows to this country.
Passage of the act is key to a new "privacy shield" safe harbor ageement stuck, but not yet finalized, between the Obama Administration and and EU this month and to a law enforcement-related privacy agreement between the U.S. and Europe.
"By allowing citizens of European nations and other designated U.S. allies procedural privacy protections similar to those offered to U.S. citizens in Europe, the United States can provide equal privacy rights to our allied trading partners and foster global economic progress," said Mark MacCarthy, SVP of the Software and Information Industry Association.
Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, echoed the importance of the bill's passage. Calling it smart, bipartisan legislation (he was a lead legislator on the House version), Sensenbrenner said: "As this bill heads to President Obama’s desk, I’m optimistic that it will be signed into law, completing a critical agreement with our allies and securing a safer future for the United States.”