How should the EU regulate access to electronic evidence?

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Microsoft #TechTalk

The European Union is one step closer to drawing up new rules to access e-evidence. Last month, the European Parliament adopted its position on how to make it easier and faster for law enforcement agencies to obtain electronic evidence, such as e-mails or documents located in the cloud. Trilogue negotiations are scheduled to start later this month. The new rules aim to allow law enforcement in EU Member States to better track digital leads in criminal law cases and collaborate across borders while establishing sufficient safeguards for the rights and freedoms of all concerned.

In this #TechTalk Theodore Christakis, Professor for International Law at the University Grenoble Alpes, member of the French National Digital Council and Senior Fellow with the Cross-Border Data Forum, talks about why e-evidence is important and what is needed to make e-evidence legislation effective.

Professor Christakis identifies four critical areas, which the e-evidence legislation needs to address. First, fast and effective ways for law enforcement to access digital evidence even if stored in another EU jurisdiction. Second, safeguards to ensure that human rights remain protected, such as notice to the user and the affected state. Third, legal certainty for internet service providers to answer requests for digital evidence, while protecting customers’ rights. And fourth, a legislation that protects an open internet and avoids solutions that move towards data nationalism.

Professor Christakis has published extensively on these issues and is co-author of an article on “EU-US Negotiations on Law Enforcement Access to Data: Divergences, Challenges and EU Law Procedures and Options” which has been accepted for publication with the International Data Privacy Law. A pre-print version of this article is available here.

You can view our #TechTalk with Professor Christakis here:

NOTE: The #TechTalk with Professor Christakis was recorded on 22 January 2020. Publication was delayed as discussions on the e-evidence file were discontinued during the COVID-19 health emergency.

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