Security Union: Commission receives mandate to start negotiating international rules for obtaining electronic evidence

Avramopoulos 2019.jpg

European Union, 2019 Source: EC – Audiovisual Service

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


On 06 June 2019, EU Member States agreed to give two mandates to the Commission to engage in international negotiations to improve cross-border access to electronic evidence in criminal investigations.The Council agreed to provide the Commission with negotiating mandates for negotiations with the United States and for the Second Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe “Budapest” Convention on Cybercrime. Both mandates include provisions on strong fundamental rights safeguards on data protection, privacy and the procedural rights of individuals, which will have to be an integral part of any future agreement.

Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said: “Criminals operate across borders and the evidence we need to investigate their crimes is often in other jurisdictions. Our law enforcement authorities need to be able to swiftly get access to this evidence. As of today, we can get to work in negotiating these frameworks with the United States and the Council of Europe.”  

Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová said: “I welcome the strong support from Member States to the Commission approach for an EU-wide agreement with the United States. For most criminal investigations today it is necessary to obtain online evidence from service providers abroad. It is therefore crucial to address conflicts of law and establish clear common rules. Any agreement will of course have to guarantee at least the same strong fundamental rights safeguards as within the EU. “

Commissioner for the Security Union Julian King said: “For far too long, criminals and terrorists have been abusing modern technology to commit their crimes. By setting international standards to obtain access to electronic evidence, we are taking yet another step to close the space in which they operate by ensuring law enforcement authorities can more effectively investigate and prosecute them, with full regard for fundamental rights.”

With the majority of criminal investigations requiring access to evidence based online and often outside the EU, it is crucial to ensure an effective cooperation and compatible rules at international level. The decisions adopted today by the Council provide the Commission with the directives to negotiate an agreement with the U.S. and on the Second Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe “Budapest” Convention on Cybercrime, more specifically:

  •     Negotiations with the United States: The agreement should address legal conflicts and set common rules for orders by a judicial authority in one country to obtain electronic evidence held by a service provider in another. It should also allow for a transfer of electronic evidence directly, and on a reciprocal basis, by a service provider in one country to a requesting authority in another.
  •     Negotiations on a Second Additional Protocol to the Budapest Convention: The Commission has been given a mandate to engage in the negotiations on behalf of the European Union and its Member States to ensure that the agreed Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Budapest Convention on Cybercrime is compatible with EU law, as well as the proposed EU rules on cross-border access to electronic evidence.

In both cases, the mandates require strong and specific safeguards on data protection, privacy and the procedural rights of individuals based on fundamental rights, freedoms and general principles of EU law in the Treaties and Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Next Steps

The Commission intends to launch negotiations with the U.S. ahead of the next EU-U.S. Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial meeting in Bucharest on 19 June.

The negotiations on the Second Additional Protocol to the Budapest Convention have been ongoing since 2017, and as of now the Commission will negotiate on behalf of the European Union.

Before an agreement can be signed and concluded, the Commission will have to obtain a separate authorisation from Member States. The European Parliament will also be informed and will have to consent before an agreement can be signed and concluded.

Moreover, the Commission’s objective remains to first finalise the EU’s internal rules on cross-border access to electronic e-evidence before finalising international agreements.

Background

Electronic evidence is needed in around 85% of criminal investigations, and in two-thirds of these investigations there is a need to obtain evidence from online service providers based in another country. Currently, the largest service providers have their headquarters in the U.S. The number of requests to the main online service providers continues to increase and grew by 84% in the period 2013-2018.

In June 2017, the Parties to the Council of Europe ‘Budapest’ Convention on Cybercrime already agreed to start negotiations for a Second Additional Protocol to the Convention enhancing international cooperation on cybercrime and electronic evidence.

In the April 2015 European Agenda on Security, the Commission committed to review obstacles to criminal investigations. Following the tragic events in Brussels on 22 March 2016, EU Ministers for Justice and Home Affairs prioritised passing measures to secure and obtain digital evidence more efficiently and effectively. The issue has since been discussed several times by EU Ministers and in April 2018 the Commission proposed new rules for cross-border access to electronic evidence. In October 2018, European Leaders called on the Commission to urgently submit negotiating mandates for the international agreements on electronic evidence. It has also been discussed in the context of the EU-U.S. Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial meetings. The Commission presented two negotiating mandates, one for negotiations with the United States and one on the Second Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe “Budapest” Convention on Cybercrime in February 2019.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Austria: reforms will be necessary to uphold high well-being levels

This Chinese megacity is building a giant waste-to-energy plant

Mali’s ‘self-defence’ groups must face justice, after deadly intercommunal attacks

Pledging ongoing UN support during visit to cyclone-hit areas, Guterres praises resilience of Mozambicans

4 things ISPs can do to reduce the impact of cybercrime

‘I thought I’d never get out alive’ – the Muslim director who interviewed neo-Nazis

Future EU-UK Partnership: European Commission receives mandate to begin negotiations with the UK

Climate crisis could see ‘collapse’ of some economies without diversification, warns UN trade chief

European Commission and European Investment Fund launch €75 million BlueInvest Fund

Number of migrants now growing faster than world population, new UN figures show

How China Mended My Heart

COP24: A million lives could be saved by 2050 through climate action, UN health agency reveals

New UN rights chief pledges to push back on ‘centuries of prejudice and discrimination’

168 hours left for MEPs – ECOFIN Council to deliver a Banking Union

EU budget: Commission proposes major funding increase for stronger borders and migration

MEPs propose ways to boost plastics recycling

Latin America and Caribbean region deadliest for journalists in 2019

Knowledge management and entrepreneurship: short term vs. long term perspective

More than four in 10 women, live in fear of refusing partner’s sexual demands, new UN global study finds

How well you age depends on what you think of old age

‘We need to stand up now’ for the elderly: urges UN rights expert on World Day

The 2019 European elections: A pro-European – and young – electorate with clear expectations

8 top stories from the week in Davos 2020

The success story of a Chinese investment in the Greek port of Piraeus

The deforestation risks lurking in the banking sector

Finland, Switzerland and New Zealand lead the way at teaching skills for the future

Permanent structured cooperation (PESCO) on the table of NATO Defense Ministers amid US concerns

UN experts cite ‘possible exploitation’ of workers hired to clean up toxic Japanese nuclear plant

Future EU-UK Partnership: European Commission takes first step to launch negotiations with the United Kingdom

Strength in unity: Commission makes recommendations for the EU’s next strategic agenda 2019-2024

IMF cuts global growth outlook, but predicts pick up later in 2019

5 ways to be a better humanitarian

Draghi joined Macron in telling Germany how Eurozone must be reformed

More state aid to big firms, no special provisions for the SMEs

June infringements package: key decisions

Bullheaded Madrid authorities confront Catalonia with force

Easing funding woes for UN agency assisting Palestine refugees a ‘wise investment for today and the future’

Commission presents its response to Antisemitism and a survey showing Antisemitism is on the rise in the EU

Fresh airstrikes kill dozens in conflict-ravaged Syria

Mosquitoes kill more people every day than sharks do in a century

Women vital for ‘new paradigm’ in Africa’s Sahel region, Security Council hears

Healthcare for refugees: a necessary symbiosis of medicine and politics

‘Break the cycle’ of disaster-response-recovery, urges top UN official, as death toll mounts from Cyclone Idai

Here’s how blockchain could fight illegal fishing and help tuna stocks recover

South Sudan’s peace process ‘precarious, but progress in being made’, Security Council hears

How regenerative agroforestry could solve the climate crisis

Annual UN women activists’ summit opens with focus on services, infrastructure

Israeli settlements remain ‘flagrant violation’ of international law, UN envoy tells Security Council

Finland should do more to improve job prospects of low-skilled youth

ICC Appeals Chamber acquits former Congolese Vice President Bemba from war crimes charges

The impact of refugees on the European healthcare system

‘We cannot lose momentum’ on the road to peace in Yemen, UN envoy warns

These are the countries that eat the most meat

How India’s new consumers can contribute to a $6 trillion opportunity

EU allocates €50 million to fight Ebola and malnutrition in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Humanitarian aid: EU mobilises over €18 million for the Central African Republic in 2019

Presentation of Juncker’s Investment Plan: Can 315 billion euros save the EU?

Why your next work meeting should be a ‘walk-and-talk’

MARKUP initiative to boost market access to Europe for East African SMEs

How a new approach to meat can help end hunger

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s