Caution - PATRIOT Act …
Browsing the web looking for information about the Patriot Act (the law that generates a constant buzz in the web community), I came across the blog of Cloud Magazine, which analyzes its effects OUTSIDE of the US territory.
Remember that the legislation resulting from the implementation of the USA Patriot Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and obstruct Terrorism Act) extended until June 2015 requires companies under U.S. law to allow U.S. security services to access their data.
Even if a U.S. company uses servers abroad, the Patriot Act also applies outside the US since they are considered an extension of the company. This part of the Patriot Act is not well known, but it raised many issues in Europe. Treasury Board of Canada post this notice: «If a company located in the United States or with U.S. connections is hired, then the USA PATRIOT Act may be applicable » http://bit.ly/Jee6TS..
It is imperative in this case to consider the impact of this law in Canada and around the world because confidentiality and data protection are Board strategic business risks. Data protection is particularly relevant for Boards currently using a Board Portal. American companies offering Board Portals like Diligent Boardbooks and Boardvantage are under Patriot Act. and Canadian Boards should be aware of that fact.
Microsoft’s managing director in the UK, Gordon Frazer, made that admission in June at the Office 365 launching London. After researching the PATRIOT act, Microsoft found that regardless of where data was stored, it could not ensure that data would not be turned over to the US government as the result of a National Security Letter or other government request, because the company is governed by US law. (from Tech law and policy in the digital age : Microsoft admission)
Can a U.S. hosting company that opens a division in Europe no longer subject to the Patriot Act?
The answer is no …
On the website of Cloud Magazine, we are told that the Patriot Act also applies to data stored in Europe by American companies. The experts at Silicon.fr are more specifics:
”It forces companies under U.S. law, their subsidiaries worldwide and their servers hosted in the territory of the United States or abroad, regardless of the nationality of the companies operating them abroad, to comply with the US agencies to access personal data “.
In other words, all American companies dealing with information on servers in Europe can be accessed by the U.S. government by invoking the Patriot Act.. Google also confessed to being in this situation. See zdnet.com
Fortunately for Canadian businesses, the regulation is quite different thanks to the PIPEDA Act. All data hosted by Canadian companies is safe and no access to servers can be authorized without a court order.
Source : leadingboards.com
How effective is your corporate secretary?
“Lately, we’ve been hearing a lot of discussion about effectiveness: effective boardroom, effective governance, effective internal controls and effective leadership. What about the effective corporate secretary?
Effectiveness is the ability to manage, assess, evaluate and remediate a situation that allows a professional to gain a competitive advantage while maximizing a given set of resources. The only problem with effectiveness is being able to maintain it.
Corporate secretaries sit in a unique position. They serve as the liaison between the board and senior management and not only know the needs of boards but also have access to the necessary regulatory resources within a company.
But between increased regulatory pressure and shareholders expecting more accountability, it seems this year will definitely test the abilities of corporate secretaries.
In light of the corporate malfeasance that has permeated a number of corporations and the poor leadership at companies like RIM, Olympus, MF Global, Yahoo!, HP and NewsCorp, boardrooms are now facing increased scrutiny from regulators, shareholders, scholars and industry observers. As a result, in order to remain effective, corporate secretaries must go beyond their usual role when supporting the board. They must be able to give clear direction, be forward-looking, competent, creative and assertive when providing advice. They should also stand clear of any instances of ‘analysis-paralysis’, a common problem that can cripple a lawyer’s decision-making process.
In an exclusive interview with Corporate Secretary, Jonathan Block, general counsel and secretary of Hot Topic, a retail chain specializing in pop-culture clothing and accessories, says that in a corporation the secretary’s role is one of the few required by law.
Although the secretary’s obligatory duties are to keep the minutes and official records of the company, ‘The reality is that an effective secretary should be doing much more than that, when it comes to supporting the company and its board,’ he says…”
Article found on Corporate Secretary, read full article here: Corporate Secretary
Source : corporatesecretary.com