European Commission launches consultation to help law enforcements to combat crime in the digital age

Today the European Commission is launching a public consultation on improving cross-border access to electronic evidence.

Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Vera Jourová, already presented three legislative options to improve access to e-evidence at the last Justice Council (8/06). Based on the discussion between Justice Ministers and input of the public, the Commission will prepare a legislative proposal.

Commissioner Jourová said: “It is our duty to keep Europeans safe and make sure that criminals are brought to justice. Crime knows no borders, criminal investigations often do. We will change that. The online world cannot serve as safe haven for criminals.”

Crime often leaves digital traces that can serve as valuable evidence in criminal proceedings and provide significant leads for investigators. E-evidence could include subscriber information, traffic or metadata as well as content data, for the purpose of criminal investigations.

Although the procedures for gathering this type of electronic evidence are usually defined at national level, obtaining electronic evidence frequently has cross-border implications. Present-day solutions often prove unsatisfactory and can even bring investigations to a halt.

The consultation is available here and will be open until 27 October 2017 .