Protecting people against terrorism and crime is a crucial function for Member States and the European Union.
To fulfil this obligation in today’s complex digital world, old laws must be updated and harmonized across Europe to take into account not only the increasing volume of digital evidence, but the means by which law enforcement can access it lawfully. Modernizing the law requires striking the right balance between a set of fundamental rights such as privacy and freedom of speech, and public security and safety.
The Commission has introduced a promising proposal to address this challenge, known as the e-Evidence package. It is a positive step in the right direction. The legislative process must ensure that the legislation provides strong safeguards and does not erode protections for Europeans. The work is ongoing and there is no doubt that citizens, industry, civil society as well as governments and the European Parliament will seek a more robust protection of fundamental rights.
Achieving the right approach to access digital evidence in Europe will pave the way for an even broader solution by establishing a new international legal framework between the EU and the US. To ensure that such an international data access framework meets government and citizen expectations, including full respect of fundamental rights, Microsoft has articulated six principles to help shape both European regulation and multilateral agreement between the EU and the US.
More on Fight Crime and Protect the People’s Rights:
- The eEvidence Proposal – a positive step forward
- A call for principle-based international agreements to govern law enforcement access to data
- The CLOUD Act is an important step forward, but now more steps need to follow
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