EC is proposing 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 new rules will allow law enforcement in EU Member States to better track down leads online and across borders, while providing sufficient safeguards for the rights and freedoms of all concerned.

Criminals and terrorists all use text messages, emails and apps to communicate. More than half of all criminal investigations today include a cross-border request to obtain electronic evidence held by service providers based in another Member State or outside the EU. To obtain such data, judicial cooperation and mutual legal assistance is needed, however, the process is much too slow and cumbersome at present. Today, almost two thirds of crimes where electronic evidence is held in another country cannot be properly investigated or prosecuted, mainly due to the time it takes to gather such evidence or due to fragmentation of the legal framework. By making the process of obtaining electronic evidence more quickly and efficiently, today's proposals will help close this loophole.

The Commission proposals will create a European Production Order, prevent data being from being deleted with a European Preservation Order and provide legal certainty for businesses and service providers.

For information, please check in here and here.

Source: European Commission