25 Oct 2017

DIGITALEUROPE’s response to the European Commission’s public consultation on improving cross-border access to electronic evidence in criminal matters

DIGITALEUROPE’s response to the European Commission’s public consultation on improving cross-border access to electronic evidence in criminal matters

DIGITALEUROPE, the voice of the digital technology industry in Europe, welcomes the European Commission’s public consultation on improving cross-border access to electronic evidence in criminal matters and the opportunity to provide feedback on the impacts of the proposed solutions. We have participated in the corresponding stakeholder workshops and continue to support the DG HOME-DG JUST task force effort to tackle the difficult jurisdictional and other challenges that must be resolved to develop a common approach in the EU. This paper largely reflects our previous submissions, and we want to contribute them formally in the context of this public consultation.

DIGITALEUROPE would like to reiterate that our members take their responsibility to maintain the safety, security, and privacy of millions of users in the EU seriously. Our members are also committed to being transparent in the way they execute these responsibilities.

As stated in DIGITALEUROPE’s submission to the Commission’s task force from 3 March 2017, our members recognise that there are situations where they need to assist law enforcement agencies carrying out investigations into criminal activity. However, they also acknowledge that the legal framework governing crossborder requests should be clarified, and we are eager to continue to work with all relevant stakeholders on these important issues.

In August 2017, the Commission published the Inception Impact Assessment that identified for consideration possible legislative solutions aimed at improving legal certainty, transparency and accountability regarding crossborder access to e-evidence in criminal investigations. The results of the assessment will feed into the legislative proposal that is to be presented by the Commission in early 2018. Additionally, the Commission’s “non-paper” from June 2017 lists practical measures to improve cooperation with service providers within the existing legal framework. These practical solutions received approval of the JHA Council and are currently being implemented. As the public consultation process will inform the introduction of both legislative and practical measures, DIGITALEUROPE would like to emphasize points relevant to the consultation and add additional comments.

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