In April 2018 the Commission proposed new rules to make it easier and faster for police and judicial authorities to obtain the electronic evidence, such as e-mails or documents located on the cloud, they need to investigate, prosecute and convict criminals and terrorists.

The proposed Regulation on European Preservation Order and on European Production Order introduces new rules to help authorities secure and obtain electronic evidence stored by service providers, irrespective of where the evidence is stored. The rules will build on existing principles of mutual recognition between Member States.

The European Production Order will allow a judicial authority in one Member State to request access to electronic evidence (such as emails, text or messages in apps) directly from a service provider's legal representative in another Member State, which will be obliged to respond within 10 days, and within 6 hours in cases of emergency (as compared to 120 days for the existing European Investigation Order or 10 months for a Mutual Legal Assistance procedure).

The European Preservation Order will allow judicial authorities in one Member State to oblige a service provider or its legal representative in another EU country to prevent electronic evidence from being deleted before their production request is completed.

The orders will apply only to stored data. Real-time interception of telecommunications is not covered by this proposal.

The proposed Directive on Legal Representatives will oblige service providers to designate a legal representative in the Unionto ensure that all providers that offer services in the European Union are subject to the same obligations, even if their headquarters are in a third country. The legal representative in the Union is responsible for the receipt of and compliance with of decisions and orders.

Find out more about the new rules to obtain electronic evidence in here and follow up the work of the EC e-Evidence Task Force.