The Home Office said Australia is likely to be the next qualified foreign government to reach an agreement with the United States under the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (CLOUD Act). „Without these mechanisms, the IPO could lead to more legal conflicts and defeat the spirit and intent of deliberate agreements under the cloud law,“ Microsoft said. The cloud act was passed last year by the U.S. government primarily to require U.S. cloud and technology companies to store data held abroad under a share warrant. „A data owner`s right and control over his or her data should not be fundamentally changed because he has chosen to move that data to a secure cloud instead of managing it locally,“ the model says. Microsoft stated that these best practices could be informed by the Approach of the Assistance and Access Act, which introduced a distinction between a cloud provider and a corporate customer with respect to „proportionate interpretation of the term.“ However, a bilateral agreement under the Cloud Act aims to improve access by law enforcement and national security authorities to data held by U.S. service providers, and vice versa. „The United States is the largest provider of data for technologies, services and communications platforms and would use such an agreement with the United States, with significant benefits for Australia`s national policing and security efforts,“ Home Affairs wrote. Dutton announced last October that Australia had begun formal negotiations on the bilateral data exchange agreement and said the current trials „undermine the loss of evidence and unacceptable delays in the outcome of criminal justice.“ Attorney General Barr said the United States is pleased that Australia has begun formal negotiations with the United States under the CLOUD Act. „The CLOUD Act was created to enable our close foreign partners, who have strong privacy and civil liberties protections, such as Australia, to enter into executive agreements with the United States,“ he said.